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

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Alright, I see. I’ll try to remember to ask about this again later after this story arc has concluded. Then again, I should probably read the book or watch the show at some point anyway before asking about it.
Make sure to read The Testaments, which is a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. The show roughly follows the book's story for the first season before it starts doing its own thing, just so you know.
 
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zenphoenix

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Everything Has Changed

Berlin - May 14, 2030

Die Zeiten said:
Still no arrests in attack on gay nightclub

Angelica walked through the smoldering remains of the nightclub. Coroners were still carrying out the bodies of more victims. Clara walked over, talking on her phone.

“No, I need to talk to the commissioner, not another spokesman, so can you please—damnit!” she said. “The audacity of that—”

“They refused to talk?” Angelica said.

“The new commissioner is an absolute jerk,” Clara said, “I’ve been on the phone all morning and I still don’t know anything about what happened here!”

“That makes two of us,” Angelica said.

“You too?” Clara said.

“Freaking Moria again,” Angelica said, “I barely convinced him to let us investigate. And we’ve got nothing to report now. I see a lot more budget cuts in our future.”

“Angelica, I need to know,” Clara said, “Is this…going to end?”

“I’m not sure,” Angelica said.

“I’m really scared now,” Clara said, “What if the next attack is against Sylvia?”

“I…I don’t have all of the answers, Clara,” Angelica said, “All I can do is try to stop things from getting worse. And I don’t know if I can even do that anymore.”

“What about your investigation?” Clara said.

“Same thing that happened to Director Frank’s,” Angelica said, “Not enough conclusive evidence to point to anything.”

“We’ve got to keep at it,” Clara said, “For the sake of those we love.”

A truck drove past, blaring Christian slogans.

“BURN LGBT!” the driver shouted through a megaphone.

“To be honest with you, Angelica, I’m scared,” Clara said.


Bremerhaven - May 15

“Down with the committee!”

“It can’t happen here!”

“Justice for Novak!”

“We want our freedoms back!”

As the protesters continued shouting their slogans in front of a line of riot police, Josh and the Argus team, all disguised in stereotypical protester attire, made their way through the crowd.

“This stinks,” Josh said, “I want to beat these traitors up.”

“Patience,” Kurt said, “We have a plan. Everyone in position?”

“We’re ready,” Gustav said.

“Now!” Kurt said.

Josh raised his sign.

WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE

“Break the chains!” he shouted. “Down with the Hohenzollerns! Down with the monarchy! Death to the Kaiser!”

“Death to the Kaiser!” his Argus comrades said.

The police got their cue. They marched forward attacked the protesters. The angry chants of slogans were replaced with screams of pains as batons fell and tasers flashed.


Committee headquarters, Berlin - May 16

“Our activities in Bremerhaven weren’t as successful as we expected,” Josiah said, “The rioters have only intensified today.”

“I’m not surprised,” Elias said, “Bremerhaven has always been like this. I suppose it’s only fitting as the hometown of Anders Humboldt.”

“And the riots in other cities continue,” Heinrich said, “The rioters there are more easily cowed than the people in Bremerhaven, but the trend is still worrying. We are especially watching developments in Dublin, Lyon, and Toledo.”

“Theodor, any suggestions?” Elias said. “This seems like something you can help with.”

“As a matter of fact, I can,” Theodor said, “Heinrich and I have been working on expanding Watchtower lately.”

“No, it was mostly you,” Heinrich said, “I only approved the contract. You set up the facial recognition cameras.”

“Anyways, Watchtower will allow us to identify the equalists leading these protests and bring them to justice,” Theodor said, “We’ll use Berlin as a test run before rolling it out elsewhere.”

“I don’t think that is wise,” Jacob said.

“Why?” Theodor said. “I think it’ll be very effective.”

“It’ll also make the protests much worse,” Jacob said, “Our reputation is already in the gutter, and this will only worsen things.”

“We won’t have to worry about reputation once the equalists have been put in their place,” Theodor said.

“And I’m telling you, this isn’t going to work!” Jacob said.

“Have some faith, Jacob,” Theodor said, “Let’s see what happens when we do the test run. And when all’s said and done, the equalists will be gone, and we’ll be heroes.”


Villa Grimaldi - June 17

“Down with the traitors, up with the eagles!”

“No Soviets in our Reich!”

“Long live the Kaiser!”

“We want our nation back!”

The protesters continued hurling insults at him, and yet Jared and his band, set up in front of Villa Grimaldi, continued playing defiantly. He poured his heart and soul into his song, singing words of peace and harmony to drown out the hatred coming from the protesters’ mouths.

“Traitor! Heretic! Equalist!” they shouted.

“We are all Romans, united in this great nation,” Jared sang, “For did good old Friedrich want all of his citizens to live together as one? Instead of killing one another?”

A pie slammed into the drummer’s drum set, forcing him to stop playing. Another pie hit the bass player’s bass, while another landed smack in Jared’s face. It was a rather tasty apple pie. How did the old saying go? As Roman as apple pie? Shame someone decided it was worth more to smash into Jared’s face than to eat. Oh well. After cleaning off the pies, Jared motioned to the rest of the band, and they resumed the song.


Paramara family residence, Dhar, Malwa - July 18

“Burma renames its capital to Yangon, Paulluists are on the move in Bhutan, Srivijaya now has a joint space program, no, that’s all minor stuff,” Tsai said, “We shouldn’t be discussing the capital of Burma or how we’re actually going to have literal Ryukyuan space marines in our lifetimes.”

“So what, you wanted to talk about Chang’e 8?” Jayasimha said.

“Yes, exactly!” Tsai said. “A triumph of Chinese engineering!”

“Shame your voters don’t see it the same way,” Jayasimha said, “They think it’s a colossal waste of money.”

“Come on, I’m working on it!” Tsai said. “Han will lose this election yet! And that’s rich coming from the guy who just asked for an IMF loan.”

Wilhelmina continued meditating in the corner.

“Oh, still at it, Willie?” Tsai said.

“Yeah, and you’re kind of ruining my concentration,” Wilhelmina said, “Both of you.”

“Sorry,” Tsai said.

“And I’m not getting anywhere anyways,” Wilhelmina said, “I still get those nightmares.”

“Well, let’s work on the next chakra then,” Jayasimha said.

“Sure, about time,” Wilhelmina said.

“Maybe this one will help,” Jayasimha said, “The second one is the water chakra.”

“Again with the Avatar references?” Wilhelmina said.

“I swear it comes from real life!” Jayasimha said. “Now, this chakra deals with pleasure and is blocked by guilt. Think of the guilt that burdens you. What do you blame yourself for?”

Wilhelmina remembered the pain she felt seven months ago as people rampaged in the Diet and dozens died. Every single gunshot, every single bomb, she could recall vividly. And behind this painful recollection was a single emotion: guilt.

“I couldn’t stop Bloody Tuesday,” she said, “I let all those people die.”

“Wilhelmina, you have to remember this was not your fault,” Jayasimha said, “That what happened that day was out of your control. You must accept the reailty that it happened, but you can’t let it weigh you down. If you are to move forward, you need to forgive yourself.”

Wilhelmina closed her eyes. She took in a deep breath and exhaled. Gradually, she told herself what Jayasimha said. The events of New Year’s Day were out of her control. She was in no position to have stopped it. But wait, could she have saved someone? Maybe, maybe not. It was all in her past. There was no changing it. The only thing she could do now was to stop letting it hold her back.


Brandenburg Palace

The first “N” in Enonon flashed white.


Telsa Dynamic, Frankfurt - September 30

Gertrude walked out of the elevator and through an airlock. The air on the other side immediately felt more humid and damp. Instead of the usual dour hallways on the other floors of the headquarters, this floor was full of plants. It was much like a greenhouse, but it appeared like the crops were being cultivated on trays stacked on top of each other, saving lots of space. LED lights at certain wavelengths were aimed at the plants, maximizing the light they needed while reducing energy costs.

“Wow,” she said.

“Nice, right?” Theodor said. “We have many more of these all over the country. From shipping containers in the Ostend to disused air raid shelters under Vienna to a warehouse in Dubai, we’re revolutionizing farming. No pesticides or chemicals, no driving or flying hundreds of miles in refrigerated trucks or planes, just pure organic food.”

“This is amazing!” Gertrude said. “The hydroponics system must be very well calibrated to maintain all this.”

“It is,” Theodor said, “It supplies not only water but anything else the plants need, and on top of that we recycle all but 5% of the water!”

“I can’t believe you made it that efficient!” Gertrude beamed.

“What you see here, Gertrude, is the future,” Theodor said, “The old ways of traditional farming and industrial agriculture are over. We no longer need to worry about bugs or diseases or really anything natural. We can have a yearlong harvest. We can even bring back old varieties weeded out by intensive farming!”

“There are plenty of old varieties of cabbage that were once popular during Soviet times but disappeared after the war,” Gertrude said, “Maybe we can bring them back.”

“I’m working on it,” Theodor said.

Gertrude ran off to see the rest of the farm. Theodor took out his phone and called Elias.

“Yes?” Elias said.

“She is invested,” Theodor said.

“Good,” Elias said, “Keep her that way.”

He hung up.

Theodor ran after Gertrude. “Now, if you’ll follow me, you must be very hungry. We’re offering a vast selection of fresh salads, vegetables, and fruits in the cafeteria, all harvested from here…”


Josiah’s house, Berlin - November 11

Jacob anxiously knocked on the door. Josiah quickly answered.

"Ah, Jacob!" he said. "Welcome!"

Jacob walked inside. Josiah led him to the living room. It was a little too ornate by Jacob's standards, but it was no palace. A Persian rug decorated the floor under a mahogany table set up in front of a full bookcase taking up an entire wall. He stepped closer to see some of the books Josiah had, hoping to get an insight into the professor and his interests.

"Skandinaviska Folkets Underbara Öden" - Carl Grimberg (A novel-like recap through the history of Scandinavia)

"The Descent of Man" - Karl Darwin

"The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy" - Mervyn König.

"Problematic Populism: Upheaval During the 2024 Recession and the Long-Term Effects on Roman Prosperity" - Josiah Burkard

"The Case for Relaunching the Mercantile Economy" - Josiah

"The Religious Genealogy of Eurasian Economies" - Josiah

"On the Brink of Collapse" - Josiah

"The Power to Compete" - Ryoichi and Hiroshi Mikitani

"Capital in the Twenty-First Century" - Thomas Piketty

"Economic Benefits of the Religious Revival of the Late 2020s" - Josiah

"Women's Work and Coffee Spoons: Empirical Model of Women's Hours of Work" - Josiah

"Roman Prosperity in a Warming World" - Josiah

"The Changing Importance of Social Class and the Reemerging Power of Religion" - Josiah

Some of Josiah's own works were strange. They seemed to be espousing beliefs Jacob didn't hear Josiah talk about much at committee meetings.

"I see you're interested," Josiah said, "Please, have a seat."

Jacob sat at the table.

"I understand you had some reservations about Saint Wilhelmina's Mending," Josiah said, "And you wanted to come over to talk?"

"Yeah," Jacob said.

Saint Wilhelmina's Mending (SWM) was a policy the committee enacted back in May following that month's spike in riots in Bremerhaven, based on a plan Josiah proposed that would reduce unrest and rehabilitate locals into productive Roman citizens. They had been testing it in the state of Holstein with on the request of its governor over the summer.

"I'm not sure if SWM is working," Jacob said, "The Kiel riots have been going on since June. The Scandinavian and Kanatan governments are lodging complaints over the treatment of the Norse population in the state. And just yesterday you all voted to extend SWM to Grosberg and Corumba in Neurhomania? While I had my day off?”

"Jacob, I can explain," Josiah said, "If you had bothered to read the whole bill, you would see the economic benefits of SWM. The recession of 2024 has cost us millions of jobs and livelihoods. We need to get this nation back on track, so we can save peoples' livelihoods."

"But look at how people are reacting to it!" Jacob said. "They don't like it."

"Well, they'll have to get used to it," Josiah said, "You have to remember, Jacob, the media is controlled by equalists. They amplify the voices of a few rioters as if they were the whole country. Look past that. Many of our citizens are thankful to have the committee provide security after Bloody Tuesday. If you look at the real news, you'll see plenty of patriots welcoming SWM as a way to reunite this country after decades of partisan division. And they will hail us as heroes. They will hail you as a hero, Jacob.”

"Well, we need to work on our branding, then," Jacob said.

"Or just eradicate the bad apples on the news," Josiah said, "My latest proposals for SWM's expansion will do just that."
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Wilhelmina needs to pick up the pace a bit, else there won't be much of a Reich worth saving.
 

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Taurica

Theodosia, Taurica - December 25

The guards stopped Rahul and Chris’ car at the checkpoint.

“Papers, please,” one said.

Rahul handed over their documents. The guard scrutinized the papers closely. Then he waved them through. As Chris drove past, he noticed the guards giving him funny looks. He paid them no attention. He had a mission here, and it was time sensitive. They only gave Heimat Security 48 hours’ notice to give them no time to change things, and they needed to make use of that time as best as they could.

“You look nervous,” Rahul said.

“You’re not?” Chris said.

“I’m keeping calm,” Rahul said, “I’m going to need it in there.”

They pulled up to the main building and walked inside. A Heimat Security agent met them in the main lobby.

“Welcome,” he said, “I’m Agent Muller. You are here for the tour, right? Please hand over your phones first. This is a matter of national security.”

“Uh, I’m not sure if this really is a matter of national security,” Rahul said.

“Your phones,” Muller repeated, “Or we can cancel the tour.”

Rahul and Chris reluctantly handed over their phones. Muller led them further inside to a larger concrete room, where several barbed wire fences had been set up to divide the room into smaller detention cells. Chris audibly gasped when he saw the people being held in them. One small cell in the middle of the room, far from any bathrooms or running water, held fifteen middle aged Russian women. Some were crying and saying things in Russian. Chris realized they were saying the names of their children. There were no children in the entire room. Other cells held men and women of various ages, from the 20s to 80s, all Russian. They looked disheveled and like they hadn’t taken a shower in a long time. Their faces were sullen and heartbroken.

“Why are you holding these people?” Rahul asked.

“Because nobody is above the law,” Muller said, “These Russians think they can break the law and come into our country with their drugs and guns to hurt innocent civilians. The old administration wasn’t willing to do what was necessary to enforce law and order. Well, we now have zero tolerance on illegal border crossings, and we are going to protect our heimat.”

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Chris said, “Where’s the nearest bathroom?”

“On the other side of the facility,” Muller said, “About a minute’s walk. Need a pointer?”

“No, I’m good,” Chris said.

“We’ll meet you in the next room,” Muller said, “Make it quick.”

Chris briskly walked away. As soon as he entered the hallway and left Muller’s sight, he checked for any cameras. Once he determined he was in a blind spot, he checked his secret pocket camera and started recording. Then he entered another of the detention rooms.

This one was more crowded than the previous one. That was probably one of the reasons Muller didn’t take them to this one, in addition to most of the children being here. By his estimate, there were probably 250 kids, dozens of them under twelve. He could even see a few infants and toddlers being taken care of by older kids. The discarded food trays on the ground told him what Heimat Security had been feeding them, if at all. Again, there was little water or sanitation. As soon as he entered the room, the younger kids instinctively recoiled away, pressing up against the back fences to get away from him. Chris put up his hands to show he wasn’t a threat.

“Calm down,” he quietly said, “I’m a friend. I need to know…what did they do to you?”

A Yavdian girl slowly approached, saying nothing.

“I’m Chris,” Chris said, pointing to himself, “Who are you?”

“Khulan,” the girl said, “Are you here to get us out?”

“Unfortunately, I don’t think I myself can do that,” Chris said, “Not right now. But I’m recording all of this right now, and if enough people see it, we can convince them to stop this.”

“This is terrible,” Khulan said, “We’ve been here for weeks. We haven’t had a change of clothing or bath since we were put here.”

“What happened to your parents?” Chris said.

“When we crossed the border, they separated us,” Khulan said, “They put our parents in jail and left us here. I fear they deported my parents. The older ones here take care of the younger ones, but it’s no substitute. I’m bigger than them, but I’m only 10.”

“What food do they give you?” Chris said.

“Not much,” Khulan said, “Instant oatmeal, a cookie, and sweetened drink for breakfast. Instant noodles for lunch. Heated frozen stroganoff and another cookie for dinner.”

“That’s it?” Chris said.

“Yes,” Khulan said, “Please, this has to stop. You have to know the truth. It’s not just immigrans they’re arresting.”

“What do you mean?” Chris said.

“I’m a Roman citizen, and so were my parents,” Khulan said, “I was born in Caffa. After the gang warfare in Russia led to many fleeing into Taurica, the Taurican government passed a law saying we needed to prove our citizenship. Many of us poorer citizens don’t have documents, so they locked us up with the rest. And we don’t always stay here.”

“Where else do you go?” Chris said.

“Whatever passes for schools for Heimat Security,” Khulan said, “First, they stopped us from reading the Book of Rod or reciting its passages. Then they said we couldn’t observe Slavic holidays or pray to the gods. Now they’re saying we can’t speak Russian. We protest, but they say it’s now the law in the rest of Taurica. I’ve heard they’ve started demolishing Slavic schools and temples outside.”

She leaned in closer. “Sometimes, we see some of the adults passing by going to ‘processing’.”

“Processing?” Chris said.

“I don’t know,” Khulan said, “But the next day, the agents walk back the other way carrying small freezers.”

“Please don't tell me that's what I think it is,” Chris said.

“We’re also being taken,” Khulan said.

“To processing?” Chris said.

“No,” Khulan said, “We’re being adopted. The adoption agencies just took away a couple of the younger kids last week.”

“But your parents!” Chris said.

“I know,” Khulan said.

“This is terrible,” Chris said, “I can’t believe this is happening, in our country.”

“Please, Chris,” Khulan said, “Get the truth out. Tell the world about us. Save us, before this gets worse.”

Chris nodded. “Of course, Khulan. I promise. I’ll do my best, even if it’s the death of me.”

An hour later, Rahul and Chris walked into the lobby. Once Muller was gone, Chris checked if his camera was still going. He stopped recording.

“Got what we needed?” Rahul asked.

“Yep,” Chris said, “And you?”

“Unfortunately, nothing much,” Rahul said, “Muller wouldn’t leave me alone.”

They left the building and headed to their car, only to find a crowd had gathered outside.

“Okay, who told them we were coming?” Chris said.

“Well, we did give 48 hours’ notice,” Rahul said.

“Support the troops!”

“Long live the Kaiser!”

“Law and order!”

“Strong borders, strong nation!”

“No equalist criminals in our Christian Reich!”

Chris could feel the anger of the protesters being directed at him in particular.

“Down with the new Judas!

“This is a Christian nation!”

“We need a new crusade!”

“Defend our families and children from the gay agenda!”

“Deus vult!”


Danzig - December 26

Kurtz's fundraising gala had drawn a large crowd, which made him happy. He and Meritocracy Today had spent weeks planning the event, and he personally had gone onto the streets to promote it and raise money. Now his efforts were paying off. The people in front of him were proof there were still those who cared about justice.

"Thank you all for showing up," he told the crowd, "These are troubling times for our country. This last year has been rough for all of us. After Bloody Tuesday, many of us have become fearful. But we can't stay fearful. As an old colleague and good friend of mine once told me, the truth matters. And if we remain scared, we'll lose sight of what is true. Join me, no, join us in fighting for what's right. Join us in helping out our fellow citizens. Because that is what Romans do. That is what Romanitas is all about!"

The crowd roared in approval.

"So I humbly ask for your contribution towards this noble goal of supporting our children's hospitals," Kurtz said, "It doesn't have to be that much. But anything is appreciated if it..."

His voice trailed off when he noticed someone moving out of the corner of his eye. He barely had enough time to react before the person plunged a knife into his chest several times.

"Death to the party cartel!" the attacker shouted. "Death to Malian cannibals!"


December 27

“People queued up outside the hospital for hours to donate blood,” Bysandros reported, “But despite our doctors’ best efforts, Herr Kurtz died at 2:24 AM this morning. The attacker, a twenty-seven-year-old man from Danzig who had recently been released from prison, gained access to the stage using a valid press media pass. It is unclear how he obtained the pass. When questioned by the authorities, he accused the party cartel of arresting him on false charges and putting him in prison last year. The man has a record of felonies and petty crimes, as well as association with known Russian criminals.”


Taurica - December 31

Khulan’s ears perked up, hearing more voices than usual coming down the hallway. She motioned to the other kids, who started moving away from the front fences. Several Heimat Security agents came into the room, escorting men wearing Argus tactical gear. They were escorting Chancellor Folger. Brad looked around the room. A camera crew walked behind him, focused on his face.

"You didn't tell me things were like this," he said.

"Sir, I was quite clear with you," Muller said, "We couldn't share more details as they are classified matters of national security."

"Children?" Brad said. "National security threats?"

"Well, we had to put them somewhere," Muller said, "And I thought you signed off on this, since the committee approved it."

"Yeah, well, uh..." Brad said, looking nervously at the camera. "Yeah, I did."

"Chancellor!" Khulan said. "Chancellor Folger!"

Brad looked at Khulan.

"Please, Chancellor!" she pleaded. "You saw the footage, didn't you?"

Brad said nothing.

"For the record, I don't know how that video was leaked, sir," Muller said, "But it is obviously a fabrication designed to slander the patriots of Heimat Security."

"Please!" Khulan said. "Save us! We're just kids!"

Brad still said nothing.

"I'm a Roman citizen!" Khulan said. "Isn't it the chancellor's duty to protect his citizens? You have to help us, please!”

Brad simply turned around and left without another word. Khulan saw not a single shred of pity or empathy in the chancellor’s eyes.
 

CaptainAlvious

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Well, at least it wasn’t Josh this time. Kurtz probably would’ve had a worse death if it was.:eek: That was definitely shocking, especially since I don’t remember Diana saying Kurtz would die.

What are the odds of Khulan becoming another Alyia Hussein? Because I get the feeling that’s what gonna happen. Also, nice to see Chris and Rahual again, it’s been a while since we saw them from Alex’s college years.
 

zenphoenix

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Well, at least it wasn’t Josh this time. Kurtz probably would’ve had a worse death if it was.:eek: That was definitely shocking, especially since I don’t remember Diana saying Kurtz would die.

What are the odds of Khulan becoming another Alyia Hussein? Because I get the feeling that’s what gonna happen. Also, nice to see Chris and Rahual again, it’s been a while since we saw them from Alex’s college years.
That depends on if someone will break Khulan out like Anne did for Aliya.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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It may not be having immediate effects, but Chris and Rahual did good getting that video out there.
 

zenphoenix

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It may not be having immediate effects, but Chris and Rahual did good getting that video out there.
The truth remains important, even if people may not always want to hear it.
 

zenphoenix

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Nullification

Brandenburg Palace - January 1, 2031

“There are madmen running around our country, threatening to tear it apart,” Elias said, “They are going to finish what Varennikov started and destroy everything about our way of life. What we need, Herr Doria, is sweeping legislation that will remove the restrictive regulations and limitations on our law enforcement and judicial systems so we can combat this threat and take back our country.”

"What are you talking about?" Wilhelm Karl said. "Look at what your current policies have done so far. Another move like that would only inflame tensions."

"All I want to do is serve my country," Elias said, "Think back. Forty-six years ago, the Reich was also threatened by equalists when the CSSR invaded. Your father, Otto the Great, wasn't afraid to deal with them head on."

"This is a completely different situation!" Wilhelm Karl said. "And how dare you compare yourself to my father!"

"You're wrong, Guglielmo," Elias said, "This is exactly the same situation. The equalists have made a comeback, thanks to their puppets in the party cartel, and they have taken over every aspect of our society from within. We have been fighting for years to take back our country and restore it to what it used to be, when it was free of the party cartel stain. But the left is fighting back. They are getting desperate, because they see the writing on the walls, and they know we have the numbers and the will. So they are fighting with all they have to keep their power. As they say, to the intolerant and privileged, tolerance and expansion of privileges feels like discrimination."

"But not like this!" Wilhelm Karl said. "You can't be asking me to do this."

"The left isn't going to stop with a few people on the street," Elias said, "Eventually, they will come for all of us Romans, our friends, our families. They will come for you, because they still think you're the rightful Kaiser and a Hohenzollern. Which reminds me...”

Wilhelm Karl looked down in frustration.

"What will it be, Guglielmo?" Elias said. "The survival of our nation, or your cowardice? Are you a fraud, or are you a man?"

Wilhelm Karl sighed. He said nothing.

Elias smiled. "Great! You're doing God's work, Herr Doria.”

---

“To this end, today I am decreeing the Nullification Act,” Wilhelm Karl told the reporters, “For a safe and secure Rome, we must rein in the wealthy bankers and traders who have run our great nation into the ground with their lies and greed. Because of them, they got rich while the rest of us suffered over the last seven years as this recession continues. I tell them, no more. I hereby decree a moratorium on all bank loans immediately, and all extant loans will have their interest cut in half. Tax rates shall be adjusted accordingly, and the committee will be implementing the new rates soon.”

He looked down at his script. He had barely gotten through the first part. That one at least was acceptable on paper, although he knew the truth. The loan moratorium would not apply to religious banks, most of which were Christian, but the interest cut applied to all loans. And the tax rates, which the committee probably wouldn’t publicize, would increase rates by up to 175% for individuals and 250% for “independent religious endowments,” defined as any religious endowment not accepting aid and partnerships from the Church. But the next part was something he didn’t even want.

“I now want to talk about the elephant in the room,” he said, “For too long, the establishment has given privileges and priorities to certain demographics within our nation, while others have been viciously suppressed. For example, feminists have enforced a pro-women agenda which puts the rights of women above those of men in many areas, like child custody arrangements, sexual assault claims, school admissions, and so-called diversity hiring. The same situation is present with so-called ‘protected minorities’ like Muslims, Jews, French, Arabs, and Poles, who gain a disproportionate advantage in many areas compared to other Romans. French Lives Matter, a far-left French supremacist movement, is the natural final stage of this special treatment. The French people, afforded far more advantages and privileges compared to other Romans, now believe they can take what they want from everyone else. They believe they can rob, loot, and kill whoever they want without repercussions, because they have the FLM card. They think they are above the law. This preferential treatment goes against the very spirit of our nation. My esteemed ancestor Friedrich the Great envisioned a Reich where all would be treated equally under the reign of the Kaiser. This is absolutely not what he intended for this nation. Since the Diet is in no position to do so at this point, I am going to fix this issue myself. Under my rights in Administrative Clause 6 of the Augustinian Code, I hereby decree the following as part of this Nullification Act:
  • the nullification of the Affirmative Action clause of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, whose privileges have been perverted and abused by the French among others;
  • the nullification of the National Reform Act of 1998, particularly its clauses censoring non-leftist public and private opinion and suppressing independent and non-leftist publishers;
  • the nullification of the Secularism Amendment to the Augustinian Code of 1949, which in enforcing a cult of secularism and atheism on our Christian nation has banned the free worship of Christianity and other religions in public as well as infringing on religious organizations’ rights to display religious symbols in public;
  • the nullification of the Equality Act of 2010, which has placed the male citizens of this nation at a significant disadvantage compared to females;
  • and the nullification of the Immigration Reform Act, which dedicates resources we do not have towards settling new immigrants, including criminals and social dependents, when we are ignoring our own citizens’ welfare.
These laws are therefore rendered null and void, and the committee will pass replacement legislation as it sees fit. That will be the end of it.”

The reporters immediately shot out of their seats, waving their hands and pointing their microphones and recording devices at Wilhelm Karl, but Wilhelm Karl ignored them and left. Gertrude met him in the hallway.

“Well done, Guglielmo,” she said.

“Please make it stop,” Wilhelm Karl said, “This isn’t Roman.”

“It is now,” Gertrude said, “Thanks to you, it’s now as Roman as apple pie.”

“What do you hope to gain from this?” Wilhelm Karl said. “You’re going to be affected by these decrees too, you know.”

Gertrude laughed. “I never thought the Kaiser could be so naive. I wrote these laws. They’re based off Living a Moral and Green Life, and I already live a moral and green life. My priority now is making sure everyone sees things the same way so we can save this planet and ensure you have a future. So why don’t you be a man, Guglielmo, and stop whining?”

Wilhelm Karl glared at her, fists clenched, but he couldn’t act. Not without triggering…

“I hope you get what’s coming to you,” he said through gritted teeth, “You and Elias both.”

“Not before you get what you deserve,” Gertrude said, walking away.

Wilhelm Karl went to his room and slumped on his couch, chugging a bottle of beer. When the beer didn't give him the feeling he expected, he angrily slammed it on the coffee table and pounded the armrest.

"DAMNIT!" he said. "Damn you Anhorn! Damn it all to hell!"

He broke down into tears. "I've failed. It's all over…"

He picked up a letter-opening knife and raised it to his throat. “Let’s see how you react to THIS, you traitor.”

Someone walked into the room. Wilhelm Karl didn't look up.

"Not now, Francesca," he said, "I need some time alone."

"But you asked me to come," a familiar woman said.

He looked up and saw Elisabeth Alexandra sitting across from him.

"Sis?" he said.

"Hey, Karl," Elisabeth Alexandra said, "It's been a while."

"What are you doing here now?" Wilhelm Karl said. "Come to gloat at me? Or mock me? After thirteen years of silence?”

"No," Elisabeth Alexandra said, "I would never mock you."

"You've always done that," Wilhelm Karl said, "You always looked down on me because I was always the spare, while Dad treated you like the special princess you were. Guess what? The spare is now the Kaiser, and you're six feet under."

"That's rich, coming from the puppet of Anhorn," Elisabeth Alexandra said, "You always preach how you want total control over everything as Kaiser, yet you've completely lost control to him. How the mighty have fallen."

"See?" Wilhelm Karl said. "You're gloating now."

"No, I'm here to help you, because I can't stay quiet while I watch my brother get disrespected like that," Elisabeth Alexandra said, "We may have our differences, but we're still family, okay?"

"So what do we do?" Wilhelm Karl said.

"Elias has you with the blackmail, right?" Elisabeth Alexandra said.

"He has all of us with the blackmail," Wilhelm Karl said.

"Then find a way to break that hold," Elisabeth Alexandra said.

"Is it really that simple?" Wilhelm Karl said.

"It's the only way," Elisabeth Alexandra said, "To break his hold over you, take away his leverage. It's what I would do."

"Sounds like something I would say," Wilhelm Karl said.

"I'm your sister, you know," Elisabeth Alexandra said.

Wilhelm Karl slowly started laughing.

"This is a strange day indeed," he said, "I'm talking with my long dead sister, and she actually agrees with me on a lot of things."

"Might not be as strange as you'd think," Elisabeth Alexandra said, "I think I should get going. You have a lot of work cut out for you."

"Can't you stay a little longer?" Wilhelm Karl said. "As much as I'd hate to admit it, I need your guidance right now."

"Some things you'll just have to find out for yourself, brother," Elisabeth Alexandra said.

She turned away.

"Are we really Hohenzollerns, sis?" Wilhelm Karl said.

Elisabeth Alexandra looked back at him. “Well, technically, our grandmother was a Schweinfurt and we thus descend from Friedrich the Glorious, but the damage will be even worse because that degitimizes every single Kaiser after him in the eyes of the public. Their claim to the throne is as strong as the Romanov branch in Russia. You need to find a way to legitimize the main lines and every Kaiser in them. It’s the only way you can get out of this mess.”

“And what about that?” Wilhelm Karl said.

“I can’t give you that answer,” Elisabeth Alexandra said, "You'll have to find it yourself."

And he was alone again.
 

Golden Dragon

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It's kind of hard not to feel pity for Wilhelm Karl being a puppet of the traitorous neo-Angeloi. I hope that this worm could be outwitted after all the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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I have to applaud the writing in the past few parts, even more than usual, because I'm feeling quite like @Golden Dragon said: despite all his horror, despite him absolutely being a bad person, I am rooting for Wilhelm Karl. Knowing all his sins, what he's done to his own family and to the characters we've known and cared for literal years now, he is still their best shot right now at even having a chance. I can't say he can be redeemed, but he is at least finally worthy of some of his lost family trying to help him now.
 
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CaptainAlvious

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I agree with @Golden Dragon and @TheAnguishedOne , Wilhelm Karl is now the lesser evil for sure when compared to the Anhorns and, Argus, Tesla the rest of the CB at this point. Quite liked that scene between him and Elisabeth Alexandra. Despite all he’s done, he’s still a Hohenzollern at the end of the day, even if they’ve technically been extinct out side of several cadet branches by blood.

Also that nullification act, can we get a yikes for that? It’s awful to see so much of Otto’s work over the past few decades get undone like that.
 

zenphoenix

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It's kind of hard not to feel pity for Wilhelm Karl being a puppet of the traitorous neo-Angeloi. I hope that this worm could be outwitted after all the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
To clarify, these aren't neo-Angeloi as they don't follow Markos Angelos or his movement.
I have to applaud the writing in the past few parts, even more than usual, because I'm feeling quite like @Golden Dragon said: despite all his horror, despite him absolutely being a bad person, I am rooting for Wilhelm Karl. Knowing all his sins, what he's done to his own family and to the characters we've known and cared for literal years now, he is still their best shot right now at even having a chance. I can't say he can be redeemed, but he is at least finally worthy of some of his lost family trying to help him now.
There's no excusing what he's done over the last couple decades. But with his remaining influence as the Kaiser, he can at least try to keep a bad situation from getting much worse.

And remember when I said all of you would eventually be rooting for the bad guy?;)
I agree with @Golden Dragon and @TheAnguishedOne , Wilhelm Karl is now the lesser evil for sure when compared to the Anhorns and, Argus, Tesla the rest of the CB at this point. Quite liked that scene between him and Elisabeth Alexandra. Despite all he’s done, he’s still a Hohenzollern at the end of the day, even if they’ve technically been extinct out side of several cadet branches by blood.

Also that nullification act, can we get a yikes for that? It’s awful to see so much of Otto’s work over the past few decades get undone like that.
It's awful to see Friedrich the Great's message of tolerance and fairness be twisted around to go against underserved and underprivileged minorities. The Equality Act of 2010, which was supposed to put women on equal social and economic footing with men, is now seen as female supremacist. FLM, which only wanted to draw attention to the concerns and struggles of the French people, is now branded an equalist French supremacist movement bent on robbing and murdering Germans with the support of the law.
 

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I agree with everyone's sentiments about Willhelm Karl, he really is the lesser of two evils at this rate. Of course the sins he has comitted for the will come for him eventually, I actually want him to succeed now in overthrowing his shackles. By the way I keep forgetting about making inquiries on Kiril's descendants since they were mentioned wayyy back during the CK2 segment so I assume the Romanovs are this particular line I reckon? If so, good to see they're still around despite Lenin's revolution.
 

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I agree with everyone's sentiments about Willhelm Karl, he really is the lesser of two evils at this rate. Of course the sins he has comitted for the will come for him eventually, I actually want him to succeed now in overthrowing his shackles. By the way I keep forgetting about making inquiries on Kiril's descendants since they were mentioned wayyy back during the CK2 segment so I assume the Romanovs are this particular line I reckon? If so, good to see they're still around despite Lenin's revolution.
Yeah, I've been meaning to officially make the Romanovs the descendants of Kirill made Russian nobles. Now that I think about it, I think I first mentioned it in HOI3 with a rogue Romanov who renounced his family and dropped one of the Soviet nukes.
 

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Palla

The Moon - February 22

The lander was cramped. Sixty years since the last manned mission, and they still didn’t design the spacecraft with more legroom? Frederica Eisenburg was starting to feel a little numb in her feet. She had been cooped up in here for four days now. The food wasn’t good, but she couldn’t complain about that. She looked to her left and right. Her crew also looked like they’d rather be home. There was hardly anything to do up here. Good thing they were almost there. She looked up and saw the gray crater-filled expanse of the Ruhemeer stretching as far as she could see. At that moment, her computer locked onto a certain crater in the distance. She immediately hit the radio.

“Nuremberg, we’re approaching the landing zone,” she radioed, “Beginning disengagement.”

“Copy that,” Mission Control replied.

Frederica turned to her crew. “Begin disengaging from Whitewing.”

Her crew hit some buttons. Frederica felt a thunk and a rumble, followed by the lander slightly speeding up as the command module silently “fell” away outside. She put her hand around a joystick and fired the lander’s thrusters, hearing a muffled hiss from elsewhere in the craft. The lander gradually spun itself around until Moon’s surface was below her and the landing zone was dead ahead.

“Disengagement and reorientation successful,” Frederica said.

“Copy that,” Mission Control said, “You’re a go for landing.”

“Roger,” Frederica replied, “Understood. Go for landing. Beginning final descent. Initiating burn in 5—4—3—2—1—mark.”

The thrusters fired again, those on top of the craft pushing it into a downward trajectory while those on the bottom slowed the descent. Frederica kept her hand on the joystick, occasionally jerking to the right or left to keep the craft level. The lander rocked and rumbled, shaking everybody’s chairs. The good luck charm Frederica brought with her, a bobblehead of a green-haired woman riding a pegasus her friend gave her as a gift, bobbed slowly but intensely. Frederica checked her gauges. The fuel gauge was depleting at expected rates. The altimeter was slightly off-level, with the altitude descending a little slower than she expected with the estimated time and distance she had left. She fired off a short burst from the upward thrusters, and the lander shot down faster. One of the gauges flashed red.

“Nuremberg, altitudes are a little high, but within acceptable parameters,” she radioed, “I’m also getting a little fluctuation in the voltage now.”

“Copy,” Mission Control said, “You’re still looking good there. Coming up on three minutes.”

Was it three minutes to landing already? She thought she would have a little more time. She looked at the computer, but it also said three minutes.

“Our position checks downrange show us to be a little long,” Frederica said, “AGS has gone about two feet per second greater than it should be.”

“Roger,” Mission Control said, “That still looks good to us. You are a go for landing.”

“Copy that,” Frederica said, “Go for landing.”

She eased the joystick down, and with it the lander continued its descent. The surface ran up, its craters growing larger and zipping past below. She could now see the lander’s shadow racing across the desolate moonscape in pace with her, slowly getting closer as she closed the distance.

“Three thousand feet,” she said, “Two thousand…eight hundred…”

“Looking great,” Mission Control said, “You’re a go.”

She fired the frontward thrusters to slow her horizontal trajectory. The lander flew over a crater and into a large flat area. The computer marked the landing zone and began calculating a path.

“35 degrees,” Frederica said, “750. Coming down to 23.”

“Copy,” Mission Control said.

“Three hundred feet, down three and a half, 47 forward,” Frederica reported.

She could now see large rocks dotting the surface. She was almost there…wait! The computer urgently beeped, marking several large boulders at the landing zone. It was too rocky to attempt a touchdown.

“Wait,” she said, “Got some boulders up ahead, right in our path. I'm going long, looking for a better site. Thrusting forward.”

She fired the rear and bottom thrusters, slowing her descent and moving faster forward.

“One hundred feet, three and a half down, nine forward, five percent,” she said.

The lander continued its flight. Frederica predicted the boulder field would clear out after another few dozen feet. But it didn’t.

“75 feet, rocks everywhere,” she said, “Still looking for a spot to set down.”

The other crew were also radioing Mission Control with their statuses, some sounding more worried than others. Frederica focused on piloting. Come on, computer, find something.

Beep. A green target appeared on the screen, identifying a suitable landing site in a small but clear around among the boulders.

“Got it!” she radioed. “Found one! Twenty feet up and closing! Lights on!”

The shadow raced up to the side of the lander. It was now close enough Frederica felt like she could just reach out and touch it. She started cutting the thrusters’ output. As she got closer, a cloud of moon dust swirled around, obscuring her vision.

“Kicking up some dust,” she said, “Lots of dust. Stabilizing trajectory…”

It was then that the lander hit a stray boulder the computer had missed, and her face paled.

“Oh no,” she said.

That hit was enough to throw the lander out of balance, and even with the thrusters firing at reduced output, it spun around wildly. The computer screen was inundated with dozens of rapidly incoming error messages. Frederica desperately fired the thrusters again. She watched as the altimeter rapidly dipped to 0.


Mission Control, Nuremberg

“We've lost telemetry!” a technician said. “No bioreadings!”

“Guidance computer is negative,” another technician said, “And no data from the onboard computer.”

“I've got nothing here,” another said.

“I’ve lost the whole thing!” a fourth said. “No signal!”

The entire room erupted into uproar. The director got out of his seat and stomped his foot.

“SETTLE DOWN!” he said.

He turned to the communications operator. “See if you can raise Palla.”

The operator spoke into his radio. “Palla, this is Nuremberg. Do you read?”

No response.

“Palla, this is Nuremberg. Do you copy?”

Still nothing.

“Try contacting the service module,” the director said.

“Whitewing, this is Nuremberg,” the operator said, “We’ve lost contact with Palla. See if you can raise them.”

“Copy that, Nuremberg,” the Whitewing’s pilot said, “Palla, this is Whitewing. Can you copy my transmission?”

Nothing.

The pilot tried it again a couple times. Still nothing.

“Is it possible the spacecraft exploded?” a technician suggested.

“Unlikely,” the director said, “We would’ve seen signs of that in the telemetry stream.”

“Maybe it was just their comms?”

“No, all telemetry also went down. These are independent systems. They could not fail simultaneously unless there was a catastrophic event.”

“So they crashed?”

“Most likely. Frakking idiots. This is why we don’t send women up there anymore. Can’t drive for scheiße. I thought the committee got rid of this pandering.”

“Okay, say they crashed. If they’re still alive, what's our contingency plan?”

“It takes four days to get to the moon, they’ll run out of air and water before then.”

“Maybe Whitewing can see something from orbit.”

The operator pinged Whitewing. “Whitewing, this is Nuremberg. Can you see anything?”

“I'm following the surface terrain, and I think the landing site should be coming up soon,” the pilot said, “Can't see anything yet. Wait. There. Don't know if you can see this.”

“I don't see anything,” the director said.

“I see Palla,” the pilot said, “I'd say she's about six to eight miles southwest of the original landing site. Seems to be in a pretty rocky area. Can't see any movement or activity.”

“He wouldn't be able to from that altitude,” a technician said, “At least we know where they are.”

“Palla, this is Nuremberg,” the operator said, “Do you copy? Over.”

Still nothing. Minutes passed in a smothering and terrifying silence. Just when the director was about to lose hope, he heard static over the radio.

“Nuremberg!” Frederica said.

The video feed resumed seconds later.

“Ruhe Base here, do you read?” she said.

“Ruhe Base, this is Nuremberg,” the director said, “Frederica, is that you?”

“Affirmative!” Frederica said. “We may have had a…rocky landing, but we made it!”

Everybody in Mission Control shot out of their seats and cheered.

“Copy that, Ruhe,” the operator said, “You made everyone down here very relieved.”


Dhar, India

“Glad to hear it, Nuremberg,” Frederica said, “We’re relieved up here as well.”

The TV feed resumed, Mission Control having reestablished contact with Athena 2. Wilhelmina watched Frederica trying to get the camera set up. She always had issues with cameras, even back on Earth. When Wilhelmina had recommended her to lead the new mission, she dropped the phone she was video conferencing on and spent a minute trying to fix her settings (and turn off some filters). But she took all of these gaffes in stride, and here she was, setting foot on the moon as the first Roman and human to do so in almost sixty years. Of course, she had to sneak a pun into her first words on the moon.

“Congratulations, Willie,” Jayasimha said.

“Big sisters get it done,” Wilhelmina joked.

“Uh, what?” Jayasimha said.

“Uh, it’s a reference to how in Fire Emblem…eh, never mind,” Wilhelmina said.

Nobody still knew how she convinced RANA to use Palla instead of the correct Pallas. Fire Emblem fan sites all over the Internet were still blowing up.

“Just you wait, Willie,” Tsai said, “We’re catching up with Chang’e. Got a great taikonaut lined up already.”

“Tell me when you actually finish haggling over the budget,” Jayasimha said, “Meanwhile, I have plans to put tandoori on the moon and have one of our guys eat it there. First gourmet lunch on the moon.”

“Yeah, plans,” Tsai said, “I doubt the tandoori will still be good after the three day ride. Gourmet lunch on the moon? More like a bad case of diarrhea on the moon. Or rather…a bad case of mooning on the moon.”

They all laughed. On TV, Frederica stepped out of the lander and onto the lunar surface. A thin cloud of moon dust burst up from under her feet. She held up her Palla bobblehead clearly for the camera to see.

“I am here because I stand on the shoulders of giants,” Frederica said, “Because brave men and women before me challenged what was thought of as impossible and made it possible. Because there were those who believed in me and what I could accomplish. Because we believed in the ideals of Friedrich the Great and lifted each other to new heights. I would like to thank my dearest friend, Princess Wilhelmina, for always believing in me. For always seeing in me the woman I always could be. Thank you, Wilhelmina, for being my idol. For being the Palla always at my side. For being a shining example of what we should all aspire to be.”

Wilhelmina’s expression changed, and she looked down in shame.

“What is it?” Tsai said.

“What am I even doing here?” Wilhelmina said. “Frederica’s up in space, my uncle is causing crazy times at home, my other friends are standing up for what’s right, and meanwhile I’m here in Dhar, attending another of the Samrat Chakravartin’s house parties. I’m doing nothing. Do I even deserve to be Frederica’s idol?”

“I’m sure you’ve done plenty of things,” Tsai said, “Have some faith. You’ve inspired plenty of people already.”

“But if they knew the real me, they would find I’m no different from my uncle,” Wilhelmina said, “Only I’m less ambitious. That’s why he’s Kaiser and not me.”

“Why don’t we get to the bottom of this?” Jayasimha said, sitting down and crossing his legs. “There’s a chakra related to this.”

“Oh come on!” Tsai said. “Do you have to find a way to work chakras into everything?”

“It’s been a while since the last chakra,” Jayasimha said, "We should probably not take so long between them."

“Fine, let’s begin,” Wilhelmina said, sitting opposite Jayasimha.

“We’ll talk about the fire chakra, located in your stomach,” Jayasimha said.

“Speaking of stomachs, I’m a little hungry,” Wilhelmina said.

“Yeah, so am I, when’s dinner?” Tsai said.

“Don’t worry, we can have all the tandoori chicken you want when we’re done,” Jayasimha said, “Anyways, this chakra deals with power. It’s blocked with shame. What are you ashamed of? What is your biggest disappointment?”

Wilhelmina closed her eyes and cleared her mind to think. She had a lot of disappointments, but there was one she particularly focused on. A tear rolled down her cheek.

“I’m not my mother,” she said, “I’m just a woman who likes games, not a dignified princess who continues the legacy of her mother. I’m supposed to be the daughter of Elisabeth Alexandra, but instead I’m…nothing. My country needs me, and I’ve abandoned my people. I’m hiding from my responsibilities here.”

“You’re right, Wilhelmina,” Jayasimha, “You’re not your mother. But you don’t need to be. You’re holding on to a false perception of yourself, that you need to be your mother in order to find meaning. You will never find inner peace if you cling to this idea. You need to let go.”

Wilhelmina opened her eyes and saw Elisabeth Alexandra sitting next to Jayasimha.

“Mom?” Wilhelmina said.

“Who?” Tsai said.

Jayasimha said nothing. Nobody but Wilhelmina noticed Elisabeth Alexandra.

“Hello, my little wombat,” Elisabeth Alexandra said.

Nobody had called her that since she was a kid. In a way, she missed that nickname. It made her feel at home.

“I’m so sorry, Mom,” Wilhelmina said, “I failed you. I’m your daughter, and I should have done more to protect your legacy. I should have been there for the people, like you were. But instead, all I do is play games. I’m not you, Mom.”

“Listen to Jayasimha, sweetie,” Elisabeth Alexandra said, “You already know the truth. You are trying to hold on to something that is not your destiny, and it’s holding you back from what you can really become. You are not me, and you shouldn’t try to be me. You’re not a second Elisabeth Alexandra. You don’t have to be me. You are Wilhelmina. And I’ll always love you no matter what.”

Elisabeth Alexandra’s image shimmered, turning into a reflection of Wilhelmina before vanishing with the blink of an eye. Wilhelmina nodded with resolve.

“I am not a reflection of my mother,” she told herself, “My identity is not bound to the legacy of Elisabeth Alexandra. I am my own person. I am Wilhelmina!”


August Chamber, Brandenburg Palace, Berlin

The first “O” inscribed on Enonon flashed white.


Dhar

“I think that worked,” Jayasimha said.

Wilhelmina belched loudly. “I’m hungry now.”

“Me too,” Tsai said.

“Let’s go get that tandoori chicken,” Jayasimha said.

“But seriously, what was that?” Tsai said.

“What was what?” Jayasimha said.

“It was nothing,” Wilhelmina said.
 

TWR97

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Guess we're back on exploring outer space again, despite all the crazy stuff going on in the Reich. And Willhelmina needed that pep talk with her mother no doubt. Jayasimha seems to know things regarding the Hohenzollern's affinity to speak with their dead. Very interesting.
 

zenphoenix

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Guess we're back on exploring outer space again, despite all the crazy stuff going on in the Reich. And Willhelmina needed that pep talk with her mother no doubt. Jayasimha seems to know things regarding the Hohenzollern's affinity to speak with their dead. Very interesting.
Exploring outer space? Not for long at this rate...
 

HistoryDude

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Well, things aren't going well in the Reich.

Hopefully the Worm can be defeated or at least delayed.

If all else fails, the Reich can always escape to Mars.