The Hohenzollern Empire 5: Renewed Phoenix - A Roman Reich Megacampaign in New World Order

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

TheAnguishedOne

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Looks like constantly crossing over into alternate universes is causing what happens to one side having a chance of impacting their counterparts.
 

zenphoenix

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Looks like constantly crossing over into alternate universes is causing what happens to one side having a chance of impacting their counterparts.
Yep. The two universes are becoming closer connected, like it or not. What happens in one universe can affect the other. Now people have to worry about what their actions might do to their counterparts. Jansen's exploiting this to weaken both sides and cruise to victory, whatever that might be.
 

TWR97

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Whatever Jansen's endgame was it sure as hell doesn't look like the two universes will remain stable for long especially if counterparts end up dying in the same way despite different locations :eek:
 

zenphoenix

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Whatever Jansen's endgame was it sure as hell doesn't look like the two universes will remain stable for long especially if counterparts end up dying in the same way despite different locations :eek:
Imagine if he turned this against one of the X-Divisions. He'd take out both at once.
 

TWR97

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Alright Zen I got an idea that I can see pretty much existing in the Hohenzollernverse

What if, somewhere in either the palace in Berlin or the Blacharnae palace in Constantinople, there is this huge room dedicated to the Roman Emperors (And Empress Regnants) of the past, marble busts of them and mosiac Orthodox styled pictures of them in order of when they ruled, starting from Augustus down to Otto, plus probably the HREmperors in another corner as well as the Western Roman Empire in that same corner, thus representing an unbroken line of monarchs stretching back to Octavian's time and generally a tribute to the great legacy of Rome.

Idk, just an idea I had for my alt timeline, hope you take a look at this suggestion :D
 

zenphoenix

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Alright Zen I got an idea that I can see pretty much existing in the Hohenzollernverse

What if, somewhere in either the palace in Berlin or the Blacharnae palace in Constantinople, there is this huge room dedicated to the Roman Emperors (And Empress Regnants) of the past, marble busts of them and mosiac Orthodox styled pictures of them in order of when they ruled, starting from Augustus down to Otto, plus probably the HREmperors in another corner as well as the Western Roman Empire in that same corner, thus representing an unbroken line of monarchs stretching back to Octavian's time and generally a tribute to the great legacy of Rome.

Idk, just an idea I had for my alt timeline, hope you take a look at this suggestion :D
That would be cool. I'll try to remember that.
 

zenphoenix

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Convergence, Part 2

Unification Island

Angelalt, Olga, and Walter walked up the dock to the ferry terminal for a short ride to the Konstanstadt mainland. A soldier checked Angelalt’s Show Me and granted them access to the ferry pier. While Angelalt and Olga waited for the ferry to arrive, Walter studied the electronic status boards on display:

Cities Ratheim Nicholasburg Neustadt Pempton Große Strömung Sandigesvertiel

Air quality Red Red Green Green Green Green

“What is this?” Walter said.

“It's a list of hot spots where the damage was worst,” Angelalt said, “Konstanstadt and the surrounding areas. Neustadt, Große Strömung, and Sandigesvertiel were still habitable, but there were so many breaches there people were moving out.”

“I see,” Walter said.

“It's getting better, though,” Angelalt said, “The bridge is helping to heal our world."

"I wanted to bring a casserole,” Walter said.

“Casserole?” Angelalt said.

“Well, in times like these, people need to eat,” Walter said, “But apparently it's forbidden to transport perishables between universes.”

“Dr. Humboldt, do you or Anders have a theory as to how a plane crash in one universe can kill people in the other?” Olga said.

“No, not yet,” Walter said, “In our years of researching the relationship between the universes, Willy and I were successfully able to transport matter from one side to the other. Even to merge tiny portions of both universes, but it never occurred to us an event that happened in one universe would cause a reaction on the other.”

“But do you think that someone could have caused this?” Angelalt said.

“On purpose?” Walter said. “Anything's possible, even Santa Claus."

“Why?” Olga said. “You don't think Jansen had something to do with this, do you?”

“It's just Mina said things were about to get a lot worse, and then this happened,” Angelalt said.

“It's possible,” Walter said, “But if Jansen caused this, he's conceived of something Willy and I never did.”


X-Division headquarters - 8:00 PM

It was now after dark, bit Walter was just getting started with the corpses delivered to X-Division headquarters from Ratheim. His first act was to attach metal clamps with electrode leads from the dead passengers back to a small bank of commercial grade tuning forks interfaced with several precision sound attenuators and control components. A pleasant tone emanated from the first cadaver just as Angelalt, Annie, and Olga returned.

“What are you looking for?” Angelalt said.

“Not looking,” Walter said, “Listening. You hear that? It's a perfect G.”

He reached into his bag and took out a hand, which he also attached to his tuning forks.

“A hand?” Annie said.

“I removed it from one of the victims on our side,” Walter said.

“You couldn't bring over a casserole, but a severed hand is okay?” Olga said.

“Shh,” Walter said, “That's a G. That's incorrect. It should be a C. You see, each universe vibrates at its own specific frequencies. Everything from this universe would vibrate at a G, and everything from our universe at C. Somehow the victims on our side were made to vibrate at the frequency of this universe.”

“So you're saying the counterparts were linked across universes?” Olga said.

“Yes, it would seem so,” Walter said.

“How?” Angelalt said. “How were the bodies retuned?”

“That's a good question,” Walter said.

“Well, do you think maybe that's what killed them?” Annie said.

“That's another good question, but I don't think so,” Walter said, "I suggest it was the plane crash that killed them, not the retuning, as you call it. But it stands to reason somehow these events were linked.”

“Have you recovered the black box yet?” Olga said.

“What's a black box?” Angelalt said.

“From the plane,” Olga said, “The cockpit recorder.”

“We don't have that,” Annie said, “But satellites record all communication in flight.”


8:30 PM

They crowded around Agent Frank’s desk as the audio from the plane was downloaded and played back.

“289, Departure Radar has you at 8,000 feet,” the air traffic controller said, “Maintain a heading of 2-2-0.”

“Control, we appear to be running into some turbulence,” the pilot said, “Request permission to climb another…”

“What the hell was that?” Brian said.

“Say again, 289?” the controller said.

“Control, aircraft is coming apart,” the pilot said, “Systems failing! Vertical control is…Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! The wing!”

The audio clip ended.

“Would you like for me to play that again?” Agent Frank said.

“No,” Olga said, “That won't be necessary.”

“If my hypothesis is correct, whatever merged the frequencies of the two universes destabilized the aircraft,” Walter said, “Whoever's responsible must have attached a device to the craft.”

“Okay, well, what if you're right?” Angelalt said. “I mean, why?”

“Doesn't feel like an assassination,” Olga said.

“So what, is it a threat?” Annie said. “What are they trying to prove?”

“I haven't the slightest,” Walter said.


Ostend

David sat on a bench in a public plaza and sipped his tea, surrounded by the skyscrapers of the financial district. His henchman ran over and sat next to him.

“Sorry I'm late,” he said.

“No matter,” David said, “Gave me time to enjoy my tea. I must say, Matcha is one of the few things I'm going to miss. How did our experiment with the plane go?”

“Better than we expected,” the henchman said, “Do you have a preference for this next one?”

David passed him a briefcase.

“Surprise me,” he said.


Tatiana’s house - 9:00 PM

It had been a long day for Tatiana. She was tired by the time she walked through the front door and pushed a button on her key to have the car park itself. She loosened the collar of her combat fatigues and went to the kitchen to get a glass of wine. There was a card on the counter, from Anne’s family. It was a picture of Anne, Diana, and Tobias in their Sunday best, Tobias in a suit and the women in uniform. Underneath was a simple caption: “Get well soon, Olga!”

Boris hugged her from behind and kissed her cheek. “Evening.”

“Hey,” Tatiana said.

“How is she?” Boris said.

“She’s improving,” Tatiana said, “Nanite shortage again, damnit. Had to use some tissue regeneration drugs. You know how slow they are.”

“I'm so sorry,” Boris said.

“It's fine,” Tatiana said, “How's Irina?”

“She’s good,” Boris said, “She’s worried about her sister. Keeps begging me to take her to the hospital to see her.”

“Maybe we should take her,” Tatiana said, “Where is she?”

“She's in the living room,” Boris said, “We've been entertaining your friend.”

Tatiana’s face paled. “What friend?”

She ran into the living room and found Irina sitting across from David.

“Hi Mom,” Irina said.

“Hello Tatiana,” David said, “I'm just catching up with Irina here. She really is a remarkable woman. It's a pleasure to finally meet her.”

Tatiana pushed him into another room and shut the door.

“We have protocols for contact,” Tatiana said, “Showing up in my home isn't one of them.”

“I see where my showing up unannounced would be worrying,” David said, handing her a syringe filled with a substance along with four more vials of the substance, “But I wanted to bring this to you, personally. I understand it's a tad overdue. Irina’s responding extraordinarily well to treatment. It's hard to imagine a few months ago her condition was deteriorating. She was in constant pain, her eyesight was gone, she was…”

“Dying,” Tatiana said.

“Every parent's worst nightmare,” David said, “Even when they’re 45. I certainly don't envy what you've been through. I noticed the way your husband looks at Irina. It's as if he's witnessing a miracle.”

“But there aren't miracles,” Tatiana said, “That's what you're here to remind me about. Right?"

“I'm sure you were dismayed after the incident with your other daughter,” David said, “The incident you caused.”

“My daughter is a good woman,” Tatiana said, “She didn’t deserve to be put in a hospital for what YOU did. I’m sick of this. She’s not the first casualty of our collaboration, but I hope she is the last. The fact I told you to shoot up that convoy when I knew she was there…someday I’ll have to account for what I’ve done. Someday, Olga will have a lot of questions for me.”

"But you can't lose your girl,” David said, “Love makes us vulnerable to many things. But it also makes us human, I suppose.”

“Is there anything else?” Tatiana said.

David walked to the front door and went outside. “Not yet. But I will be calling on you shortly.”


Ostend, Constantinople, the Reich - July 14, 2011, 6:30 AM

David’s henchman flagged down a taxicab and got inside, carrying the briefcase he was given. Sitting in the back of the cab, the man fiddled with a few switches near the handle, slipped it under the seat in front of him, and waved to the driver.

“Right here's fine,” he said, handing the driver a five mark bill.

He got out just as another woman, Matilda, got in.

“I'm going to Palation,” she said.

The cab set off, navigating the streets of the Ostend before approaching the East-West Bosphorus Bridge to the Westend. Matilda was unaware of the briefcase sitting in front of her feet, which was now beeping red.


Schlossberg (Palation), Konstanstadt, Holy Roman Empire - 6:37 AM

Matilda did a little late-night shopping for pet supplies in a quiet retail store. She approached the checkout and set down her items.

“Did you find everything you were looking for?” the clerk asked, scanning her items.

“Yep,” Matilda said.

“That will be 18 annons, 47 pfennig,” the clerk said.


Constantinople

Matilda’s taxi began to shake violently as the device in the briefcase activated.


Konstanstadt

Matilda was suddenly thrown halfway across the store and violently slammed into the wall.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Ah, there's why Tatiana is in David's pocket. Torn between what's right and helping your family.
 

zenphoenix

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Ah, there's why Tatiana is in David's pocket. Torn between what's right and helping your family.
Unlike Jansen, Tatiana still has her humanity. Unfortunately, she's more easily manipulated.
 

zenphoenix

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Convergence, Part 3

Ostend, Constantinople - 9:00 AM

Anders, Angela, and Anna got out of their car and approached the eastern entrance to the bridge. Below, the police had just hauled the sedan out of the water.

“According to the cops, the cab went over the bridge at exactly 6:37 AM, the same time the victim died on the other side,” Anders said.

Angela picked up her phone. “Di, we’re here.”


Restoration/Unification Island Bridge

After receiving Angela’s message, Diana walked into a conference room, where Agent Frank waited for her. They sat down and handed files to each other.

“Morning,” Diana said, “My team's online. We're just standing by.”

“I'm ready whenever they are,” Agent Frank said.

Diana put her phone on the table and set it to speaker, while Agent Frank did the same with her own phone.

“It's nice to see you again,” Diana said.

“I wish it was under better circumstances,” Agent Frank said.

Diana took out a thermos and handed it to Agent Frank.

“I brought you something,” Diana said.

Agent Frank opened it, revealing it was coffee. She looked at Diana.

“Oh, no, no, it's okay,” Diana said, “I got permission. You like it?”

“I never thought I was going to taste this again,” Agent Frank said.

Her phone beeped.

“Oh, here they are,” she said, “Hello.”


Schlossberg (Palation), Holy Roman Empire

While Annie ran after Walter, who had wandered down an aisle, Angelalt tapped her earpiece and looked at Matilda’s body.

“Can you tell Agent Hansen our victim's name is Matilda Guerring,” she said, "According to her Show Me, she's from Schlossberg.”

Annie finally caught up to Walter in an aisle for badger food.

“There you are,” she said.

“Domesticated badgers, really?” Walter said. “As pets?”

“Come on, Walter,” Annie said, pushing him back to the crime scene, “We need you.”


Ostend, the Reich

“Angie, their victim's name is Matilda Guerring,” Diana said.

“Same here,” Angela said, “Matilda Elisabeth Guerring.”

“Ask if her left arm is broken,” Walter said.

“Is her left arm broken?” Diana asked.

“Yep,” Angela said.

“Hey, Di, can you ask Walter what it is we’re looking for?” Anna said. “What this device might look like?”


Restoration/Unification Island Bridge

“Dr. Humboldt says a device this powerful is probably rather large,” Agent Frank said.

“Uh, Anna, Walter says the device could be rather large,” Diana said.

“Or it might be small,” Agent Frank said.

“Actually, I don't think he has any idea what it looks like,” Diana said.


Ostend

Anders looked behind the driver’s seat and spotted the briefcase. He hauled it out.

“I got something,” he said.

“Hold on, Di,” Angela said, “We found something. What is it?”

Anders opened the mangled briefcase and found the actuating device: a large metallic plate with multiple electronic leads connected to a familiar power source.

“Amphilicite,” Anna said.

“Jansen,” Angela said.


X-Division headquarters, Konstanstadt - 10:00 AM

Tatiana approached Angelalt, Annie, and Walter as they entered the situation room.

“Have we found a similar device at the crash site?” Tatiana said.

“No, but considering the wreckage, it could have been destroyed,” Annie said.

“Dr. Humboldt, do you have any idea what Jansen is trying to do?” Tatiana said.

“He's done it twice, originating once in each universe,” Walter said.

“So why?” Tatiana said. "He must have a reason.”

“Of course he has a reason,” Walter said, “Problem is I don't know what it is. I'm sorry.”

“It's been a long day,” Tatiana said, “Maybe after a good night's sleep.”

“It’s still ten in the morning,” Angelalt said.

“I think you're right,” Walter said, “Although the pillow I was given last night left me with a terrible crick. Apparently this universe hasn't discovered memory foam.”

“You know, Walter, you can stay at my place if you like,” Annie said, “I got a spare room.”

“I appreciate that,” Walter said, “I would expect no less from my daughter. Thank you. And I shall refrain from sleeping naked.”

“Well that’s good to know,” Annie said.

“Okay, I’m going get my bag,” Angelalt said.

“So will I,” Annie said.

They stepped away from Walter and Tatiana.

“General Kirova, I wanted to apologize,” Walter said.

“For what?” Tatiana said.

“For snapping at you,” Walter said, “It's not you I’m angry with. None of what Jansen is doing would be possible without the right conditions. I created those conditions by crossing over all those years ago. Had I not done that, we wouldn't be in this situation now.”

“Dr. Humboldt,” Tatiana said, “May I ask you something?”

“Of course,” Walter said.

“If you had to do it all over again, would you make the same choice?” Tatiana said.

“If you'd asked me that question a few months ago, when the universe was still falling apart, the answer would have been no,” Walter said, “But now I don't know if I'd do anything differently.”

As Tatiana and Walter talked, Angelalt and Annie made their way to Agent Frank’s desk.

“I ran the names, all cell records, electronic communication…” Agent Frank began.

“I'm sorry, what?” Annie said.

“The list of 108 names that you gave to General Kirova,” Agent Frank said, “She got clearance and asked me to look into them.”

“Did you find anything?” Angelalt said.

“I ran the data twice,” Agent Frank said, “There is nothing to implicate any of them. Nothing at all out of the ordinary. Do you want me to run the information a third time?”

“No, it's okay,” Annie said, “Thank you.”


Downtown Konstanstadt - 4:00 PM

Tatiana sat on a bench and waited. After a couple minutes, David sat next to her and handed her an electronic device.

“You want tell me what this is?” Tatiana said.

“No,” David said, “All you need to know is what you're to do with it.”

“The last time I did that, I almost got my daughter killed,” Tatiana said.

“Should I remind you about your other daughter?” David said. “Take it to Unification Island, to what I believe you call the bridge, and affix it to the control panel on the machine.”

“You do realize that machine is healing our worlds?” Tatiana said.

“I do,” David said, “Need I remind you who I am healing? Now hurry. Anytime before sundown tomorrow should be fine.”


Tatiana’s house - 9:00 PM

Tatiana quietly tucked Irina into bed and sat next to her. She took out the syringe David gave her and injected Irina with the treatment.

“So your father tells me you have some good news,” she said.

“I told him not to say anything,” Irina said.

“He didn’t,” Tatiana said, “That's all he said. I'm waiting to hear it from you, so spill it.”

“I finished the etude,” Irina said, “The one I’ve been working on for ten years.”

“That’s great,” Tatiana said.

“No, Mom, I’m not done,” Irina said, “Dad had some friends over.”

“What did they say?” Tatiana said.

“They said they liked what they heard,” Irina said.

“Really?” Tatiana said. “Now that’s good news.”

“It gets better,” Irina said.

“How?” Tatiana said.

“One of Dad’s friends is cousins with the conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic,” Irina said, “He wants to arrange a meeting with her. Said I was special, Said what I wrote was perfect. Can you believe that? Mom, nobody’s ever said that.”

"I'm glad you had a good day,” Tatiana said, kissing Irina’s forehead, “Goodnight, Irina.”

“Goodnight, Mom,” Irina said.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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That's such a cute closing scene. Something terrible is going to happen.
 

CaptainAlvious

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Random question, but if the first three phases of OTL MCU is the Infinity Saga, since those three phases were an arc about Thanos and the Infinity War story, there is this question;
what would the DCCU arc about the New Gods, Darkseid and Crisis on Infinite Earths be called?

Considering the Crisis is based around the DC multiverse, does that mean the DCCU will have references to previous DC works and continuity, like say the DC animated universe from the 90s-early 2000s, would the Justice Alliance just interact with random parallel universes? That or it could work like however the Arrowverse shows do the multiverse, I’m not sure since I’m not familiar with how the CW Arrowverse does the multiverse, just that they are having their own Crisis on Infinite Earths event.
 
Last edited:

zenphoenix

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That's such a cute closing scene. Something terrible is going to happen.
Olga's not going to like this...
Random question, but if the first three phases of OTL MCU is the Infinity Saga, since those three phases were an arc about Thanos and the Infinity War story, there is this question;
what would the DCCU arc about the New Gods, Darkseid and Crisis on Infinite Earths be called?

Considering the Crisis is based around the DC multiverse, does that mean the DCCU will have references to previous DC works and continuity, like say the DC animated universe from the 90s-early 2000s, would the Justice Alliance just interact with random parallel universes? That or it could work like however the Arrowverse shows do the multiverse, I’m not sure since I’m not familiar with how the CW Arrowverse does the multiverse, just that they are having their own Crisis on Infinite Earths event.
I haven't given it a name. I don't know what to call it.

Interactions with parallel universes might only happen in the actual Crisis on Infinite Earths movie and be a neat way to reference previous non-DCCU movies, animated series, and the original comics (Golden Age and modern).
 

zenphoenix

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Convergence, Part 4

Annie’s apartment - 10:00 PM

Walter slipped from his guest room and made his way to the bathroom. As he came back, he noticed Annie in the living room, surrounded by empty bottles of beer.

“Can't you sleep?” Annie said. “Is the bed too hard?”

“No, I was sleeping like a baby,” Walter said, “Sadly my bladder was not. You're a lot like him, you know? Anders. He has trouble sleeping too when there's an open case.”

“It's not the case,” Annie said, “It's the evidence from the hit on Canaan, the one that almost killed Olga.”

“I see,” Walter said, “Are you looking for something in particular?”

“A mole,” Annie said, “Someone must have let Jansen’s men know the location of our convoy. And then he sent his people in to ambush us.”

She sighed. “I’m sorry, I don't usually drink. Demetrios left this in Angie’s place when he moved out, and Angie gave it all to me.”

Walter looked at another box. “Are these the rest of Demetrios’ belongings?”

“No, that's Olga’s stuff,” Annie said, “Her place was being renovated when she was shot, so she left her things at my place. Her mother wants it. I just can’t face her, not until I got something more to tell them. I can’t talk to her until I know who got Olga shot. And I thought this would give me some courage, but all it's done is just make me feel a little bit sick.”

“Well I have just the thing for that,” Walter said, “Some people swear by hair of the dog, but I prefer nature's sponge, the egg. It won't be long.”

“I'm missing something,” Annie said, “I know I am, Walter.”

“Then I suggest you sleep on it,” Walter said, "Our brains are remarkable instruments. They can process evidence even when we're not conscious.”

“Yeah, but that's the thing, there is no evidence,” Annie said, “I mean, there is absolutely nothing linking any of the likely suspects to the crime.”

“That never stopped Anders,” Walter said, “Perhaps it's time to give some thought to the dog that did not bark.”

“I don't understand,” Annie said.

“Sherlock Holmes,” Walter said, “Fictitious detective. Penchant for cocaine?”

“No, not on this side,” Annie said.

“Anders’ personal hero,” Walter said, “One of them. The point is no evidence is evidence in and of itself.”

“Okay,” Annie said, “So what if our mole is covering his tracks? Then it would have to be someone pretty high up on the food chain. I mean, someone with enough clearance to alter classified details.”

“How about General Kirova?” Walter said.

“What?” Annie said. “General Kirova? No way. She would never allow the hit which nearly killed her own daughter.”

“You know General Kirova better than I do,” Walter said, “But in the case of a mole, no one should be above suspicion. Frankly, I’m still upset about Scheel.”

“Who’s Scheel?” Annie said.


X-Division headquarters - July 15, 2011, 6:00 AM

The door opened, and Angelalt and Annie entered Mina’s holding cell.

“I don't suppose you brought me my breakfast,” Mina said, “Is there a reason you’re early? What’s the additional privacy for?”

“We just wanted to tell you in person we found our mole,” Annie said, “We have General Kirova in custody. She told us everything, so she won't be able to set you free anymore.”

“You really have no idea,” Mina said, “Tatiana is irrelevant. She’s just another pawn. This changes nothing, Hansen and Humboldt. I know Jansen, and he will come for me.”

“Perhaps,” Angelalt said, “Unless you're just another pawn.”

Angelalt and Annie returned to the mostly empty situation room, where Olga waited for them at Agent Kirova’s desk. It was still early, and only a handful of agents had shown up.

“She just confirmed it’s General Kirova,” Angelalt said.

“For all we know, Mina’s lying,” Olga said, “I know my mother. She wouldn’t do that.”

“Why would she lie to us?” Annie said. “What does she have to gain?"

“Maybe she knew you were bluffing,” Olga said.

Agent Frank walked over to them.

“I’ve been asking around,” she said, “No one has seen General Kirova come in today. She usually arrives around 6. I checked, and her subcutaneous tracker was disabled an hour ago. Should we be worried?”


Unification Island - 6:30 AM

On the mainland, with the Statue of Octavia the Steel Empress in sight, Tatiana sat in her parked car in the lot next to the ferry pier, her only method of access to Unification Island and the machine she had been manipulated into sabotaging. She looked at her wallet, where she kept a picture of herself with Olga and Irina as children. Then she looked at the “Get well soon” card from Anne and her family. She wanted to cry, but unfortunately she had no tears to shed. With the electronic device in her pocket, Tatiana left her car and walked to the security checkpoint for the next departing vessel.

“Good morning, ma’am,” the sentry said, “Your Show Me, please.”

Tatiana reluctantly handed over her Show Me.

“Thank you,” the sentry said, “Ferry should be here in five minutes. How you doing today?”

“Fine, thanks,” Tatiana said.


X-Division headquarters - 6:35 AM

“Well, thank you, Boris,” Annie said, “I'm really sorry to have bothered you at home. Bye.”

She hung up.

“General Kirova’s Show Me was just swiped at the Unification Island ferry,” Agent Frank said.

“What's she doing there?” Angelalt said.

“The bridge is there,” Olga said, “The Minister of Defense. She could be doing anything.”

They grabbed their bags and rushed out the door.


Restoration/Unification Island Bridge - 6:45 AM

Tatiana approached the checkpoint immediately prior to the interior of the bridge. She swiped her Show Me on the scanner and put her hand against another, and the sentry waved her through with a salute. She continued to the machine room.

Outside, Angelalt, Annie, and Olga got off the ferry and took the elevator down into the facility.

“Agents,” a sentry said as they approached.

“Did General Kirova come through here?” Annie said.

“Yeah, a few minutes ago,” the sentry said.

They pushed him aside and ran past him.

“Hey, you haven't been cleared!” the sentry said.

As the agents forced their way through the security checkpoints and decontamination chambers, Tatiana entered the machine room and took out David’s device. She approached the machine, tears finally welling up in her eyes, and prepared to attach the device. She closed her eyes, resigned to the fate David gave her. Then she heard guns clicking behind her. She turned around and saw Erich, Kurtz, Diana, and several Athanatoi agents pointing their guns at her. Relieved, Tatiana quickly dropped the device and put her hands up. Angelalt, Annie, and Olga ran into the room soon afterward.

“I got your message,” Erich told them.

Tatiana looked at Olga. “I’m sorry.”


10:00 AM

Angelalt, Annie, and Olga escorted Walter to the Hohenzollern side of the machine room.

“Well, I guess this is it,” Walter said.

“Thank you for everything,” Annie said.

“Don't judge her,” Walter said, “No one can be certain exactly what they're capable of, how far they'll go to save the ones they love. I know this more than most.”

“She’s told us everything already,” Angelalt said, “Ministers Humboldt and Frank are petitioning to get her immunity or a pardon because of her cooperation.”

“She regrets getting the other me shot,” Olga said, “She told me she’s sorry.”

“Keep an eye on this universe, will you?” Walter said. “I've grown quite fond of it.”

“We will,” Angelalt said.

Olga escorted Walter out of the machine room. She led him to a conference room, where they sat at the table as Angela, Anders, Diana, and Anna arrived.

“Walter, what's up?” Anna said.

“We got here as quickly as we could,” Anders said.

“I know why he did it twice,” Walter said, “Jansen, I think I know what he's doing.”

“What?” Angela said.

“It was a test,” Walter said, “The damage we saw was irrelevant. He was just taking readings.”

“Well, what kind of readings?” Diana said.

“He wanted to find a common denominator, a frequency that could link both universes,” Walter said.

“Right, so that whatever he did over there, the same thing would happen over here,” Anders said.

“We already know that, Walter,” Anna said.

“No,” Walter said, “That was just a start. Had General Kirova attached the device to the machine, it would make it possible for Jansen to do something much worse.”

“Like what?” Angela said.

“He could destroy both universes,” Walter said.
 

TWR97

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Looks like Jansen's endgame has finally been uncovered, destroying one universe wasn't enough, only thing remains is the why, I wonder why he would go all through the trouble in destroying both the Anniona and Hohenzollernverse.
 

zenphoenix

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Looks like Jansen's endgame has finally been uncovered, destroying one universe wasn't enough, only thing remains is the why, I wonder why he would go all through the trouble in destroying both the Anniona and Hohenzollernverse.
Obviously he has a grudge against both me and Dragoon9105.:D
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Makes sense. Now that Jensen has a third universe to run off to, might as well try destroying two others.
 

zenphoenix

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Makes sense. Now that Jensen has a third universe to run off to, might as well try destroying two others.
This as-yet-unknown AAR writer really doesn't like the competition, huh?
 

zenphoenix

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Last Resort, Part 1

Restoration/Unification Island Bridge - July 22, 2011, 9:23 AM

As Angela and Anders rushed ahead and Olga and Diana walked behind them, reading files, Walter stopped to look at the machine. Anna looked back and noticed he had stopped.

“You coming, Walter?” she said. “Don't know you really needed a tie.”

Walter looked at his tie. “I thought it was appropriate.”

“Well, you look great,” Anna said, “Despite what Anders says.”

Walter followed her into the conference room, where the X-Division teams from both universes had assembled on both sides of the table.

“Thank you all for coming,” Walter said, “I have asked you here because I believe I have discovered David Jansen’s true intentions. I believe Jansen is trying to collapse our universes in order to create a gravitational singularity. As our worlds contract... the force becomes greater and greater, and as matter and energy are compressed to a point, the density is so great hat it has no recourse but to rapidly expand outwards again... creating a Big Bang. Mutual destruction. Our side and yours.”

“And he would do all this why?” Angela said.

“To create another universe,” Anders said.

“His universe,” Walter said.

“A world where the laws of physics and nature are designed and controlled by him,” Annie said.

“Where he is God,” Walter said.

“But how did you come to this conclusion?” Diana said.

“I had a dream,” Walter said.

“A dream?” Erich said.

“My subconscious mind was working while my conscious mind was at rest,” Walter said.

“Walter... with all respect, maybe it was just a dream,” Angelalt said.

“I have to agree,” Olga said.

“I mean, this is ridiculous, even by Jansen’s standards,” Angela said.

“If I have learned one thing, it's that anything is possible,” Walternate said, “And given what we know about Jansen’s actions so far, what Dr. Humboldt suggests should not be overlooked.”

“Okay,” Anna said, “So let's assume Walter's right. How would Jansen do this?”


Aojing, Penglai

On the shores of Aojing Harbor, Sarah Wolff stopped walking to check her map and timer watch.


Hong Kong, China

Rico Modell, begging little kids running behind him, navigated the cramped and twisting alleys of the Kowloon Walled City. He turned down another alley and stopped to check his map and timer watch. Then he climbed up a ladder, the kids not following due to the warning sign on the wall nearby. He reached the roof and sat down, waiting.


Nepal

Linda Modell ran through a grassy field in the shadow of the looming mountains behind her. She stopped to catch her breath and check her timer watch.


Constantinople, the Reich

Nick Larsen got out of a cab and handed a twenty mark bill to the driver.

“Keep the change,” he said.

He continued walking down the middle of the busy street, checking his timer watch. He was only fifty yards from the intersection he needed to occupy and sauntered across traffic with no regard for his safety or anyone else’s. As drivers honked in frustration, he sat in the middle of the intersection and closed his eyes.


Aojing

Sarah looked at her compass and closed her eyes.


Hong Kong

Rico checked his compass as well and closed his eyes.


Nepal

Linda looked at her timer and closed her eyes.


Constantinople

The ground around Nick rumbled and shook, and drivers and pedestrians ran for safety as the earthquake intensified.


Restoration/Unification Island Bridge

"You lost me, Walter,” Angelalt said, “How could someone destroy two universes and survive to see it?”

“Westenfeld,” Anders said, “Jansen used the amphilicite to destroy the town of Westenfeld in our universe and yours.”

“But when he was finished, there was one area still standing,” Anna said.

“Meaning?” Kurtz said.

“Meaning perhaps it was a test,” Anders said.

“A way to ensure his survival,” Diana said.

“So Jansen is planning on what, riding out the apocalypse?” Olga said.

“It's possible he built a safe zone where he and his followers could be protected,” Walter said, "After all, he needs subjects to rule over.”

Heidelberg entered the room. “Herr Minister, I have a message from High Command.”

Walternate left the room to take the message.

“In this scenario, would there be anyone who could stop Jansen?” Erich said.

“Short of killing him, I don't know,” Walter said.

Everybody’s phones rang at the same time. They answered them. Anna walked over to Walter and patted him on the back.

“You did great, Walter,” she said.

“He can't even stay in the same room as me,” Walter said.

“No,” Anna said, “He listens to you. They all did.”

“We’re receiving multiple reports of earthquakes all over the world,” Erich said.

“Uh... worlds,” Angelalt said, “It's happening on our side too.”

“It's Jansen,” Walter said.


X-Division headquarters - 3:00 PM

“Twenty-seven earthquakes,” Agent Frank reported, "Most of them occurred nowhere near the major fault lines registering between 5.7 and 7.1 on a Richter scale. And they all started at exactly the same time. 9:23 AM Eastern Mediterranean Standard Time.”

“The locations are the same in both universes?” Olga said.

“Yes,” Agent Frank said.

“Nepal, Constantinople, New Berlin, Hong Kong, Aojing,” Olga said.

“The synchronized earthquakes are all over the world, and there must be a trigger,” Annie said, “Presumably amphilicite.”

“I'll coordinate with the other side to begin a search,” Olga said.

“I wonder how you say amphilicite in Chinese,” Angelalt said.


Walter’s lab, Strasburg

Walter sniffed a shoe from an evidence box.

“What is he doing?” Diana said.

“We don’t know,” Angela said.

“He said he’s not ready to tell us yet,” Anders said.

“So why these 27 locations?” Anna said. “Assuming it is Jansen, it can’t just be random. There must be a pattern.”

“So what?” Angela said. “I don’t know, another test?”

“No,” Walter said, holding up the shoe, “This is not another test. I think I understand. The items in this box were recovered from the epicenter of the earthquake in Constantinople. Now, as we have seen, everything from our universe vibrates at a frequency of 261.6 hertz. The key of C. And things from the other universe at 392 hertz, a G. But these things from the evidence box vibrate at 329.6 hertz.”

“The key of E,” Diana said.

“Precisely,” Walter said, "I think I know what he is doing now. Jansen is trying to tune the two universes to vibrate at a common frequency. And it’s these vibrations creating the earthquakes. And…I suspect that we will see many more because… the vibrations are weakening, uh, the barrier between our two universes. If he does it enough times… in the right locations…”

“Collapse is inevitable,” Anders said.


X-Division headquarters, Konstanstadt

Annie approached Agent Kirova’s desk and motioned to Olga.

“You have a visitor,” Annie said.

Olga looked up and saw Nick Larsen walking toward her.

“Uh, hi,” Nick said, “I’m Nick Larsen. I don’t know if you remember me, but we grew up in the same neighborhood in Frankfort. I was a couple of years behind you in school.”

Olga did remember Nick, but this wasn’t the Nick she knew, and she wasn’t the Olga he knew.

“Nick,” she said, “Right. Good to see again. What can I do for you?”

“I’m really sorry to ambush like this, but, I really didn’t want to call the terrorist hotline, and you’re the only person I know who’s an X-Division agent, and you guys handle stuff like this,” Nick said, “I think terrorists caused these earthquakes.”

“Go on,” Olga said.

“I had a vision of the terrorists,” Nick said, “I saw the earthquakes. I was standing right in the middle of it. But the thing is, when this happened, I wasn’t even aware there was an earthquake. I hadn’t turned on the news yet. How is that possible?"
 

TheAnguishedOne

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It must have taken a great deal of restraint for Walternate to even consider that his counterpart was right, let alone speak as much in front of his agents.