Lothar’s descendant

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Eiffelland, Aug 7, 2014.

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  1. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
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    Trier
    4 August 1954

    Frohnhausen was a small village with about 800 inhabitants. It was situated 100 km south of Marburg, on a poorly fruitful sand-ground, in a hilly landscape with many pine-forests. The only thing that could grow there were bilberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and needle‑leaved trees. The only thing where the Frohnhausers could live from, were berry-picking, goat farming, game hunting and timbertrade. As a result, Frohnhausen was a poor community.
    But by the end of the 19th century, students from Marburg discovered Frohnhausen as a nice environment for camping. They took the train to the closest-by train station and then the horse‑bus to Frohnhausen. By the beginning of the 20th century, the boyscouts and several comparable youth organisations followed their example. The appearance of the car made traveling easier in general. More and more people came to Frohnhausen during summer. As a result, one of the local farmers decided to open his lands as a camping place where people could set up their tents. This year for the first time. And it turned out to be a very good idea. In fact Frohnhausen was on a perfect location for a holiday. It was situated in the pine-forests, but the river Lahn was only 5 km away. So there were both forests and water.
    Along the river Lahn, there was a sand beach where the Frohnhausers go to for a swim. And not only the Frohnhausers, also the tourists. The students went there, the youth organisations went there, and now the people staying on the camping went there. Also on this extremely hot Monday the 4th of August. An ice seller had decided to go to the beach and sell his ice there. That turned out to be a very good move for him.
    The beach was extremely full. So full that two 12 year old boys decided to go a bit further away and see how the rest of the river banks looked like. Achim was a local boy. He was the son of the forester. Lorenz was the son of an official from the municipality of Marburg. He had already been to Frohnhausen with a Tiburan Catholic youth organisation before, but this year was the first time that he stayed there with his parents and sisters. Already on the first day of his holiday, he became friends with Achim. They spent a lot of time together. It was mainly Achim who showed him around in the forests, but sometimes they went to parts of the forest where Achim had never been before. Once they saw a deer, once a fox, once they met a hermit. Today they decided to check out the river banks.

    “Hey, do you see that river-vessel?” Lorenz said at a certain moment. “I can swim underneath.”
    “What? Are you crazy?” Achim asked.
    “Really, I can. Watch this,” Lorenz said. And he dived under.

    Given the fact that both boys lived in a place close to a river, both boys were good swimmers, but Lorenz went a bit further in that. Swimming underneath a river-vessel was something he and his friends in Marburg often did, so he knew what he was doing. But for Achim, it was a frightening experience to see his friend diving under water and staying out of sight for a couple of minutes. He was relieved when he saw his friend on the other side of the river after the vessel had passed.

    “You’re crazy, you know that?” Achim shouted.
    “Achim, you must see what’s on the bottom of the river. A car wreck. And quite an old one,” Lorenz shouted back.
    “A car wreck? Really?” Achim shouted back.
    “Really. On the bottom of the river,” Lorenz shouted.

    Achim looked around him to check for river-vessels, and when he saw that no‑one was approaching, he dived under water. And indeed, in the middle of the river, at the bottom, there was a wreck of an old Raimer. Achim swam to the other bank of the river, where Lorenz was still standing.

    “Jesus-Maria,” he said when he was standing next to Lorenz. “I was really afraid that you wouldn’t make it. A guy from the village tried that once, but he didn’t survive that. He got into the propeller.”
    “Oh, I’m sorry, if I would have known that, I wouldn’t have done it,” Lorenz said.
    “You were already under water before I got the chance to tell you,” Achim said.
    “Oh, I’m really sorry,” Lorenz said.
    “It’s OK,” Achim said. “But what are we gonna do with that car wreck?”
    “We have to report it, even if no-one’s gonna believe us,” Lorenz said. “Let’s swim back.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  2. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
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    Trier
    5 August 1954
    Rabenau

    Because Frohnhausen was such a small village, it didn’t have an own police corps. Indeed, there was one police officer (with the rank of Polizeimeister), but formally it was under the responsibility of the police in Rabenau, a city with 80,000 inhabitants 40 km to the east. So initially, it was the Kriminalpolizei Rabenau that was responsible for the car wreck in the Lahn. It was also the Kriminalpolizei Rabenau that had the car dragged out of the river. At the garage of the police in Rabenau, the first investigations of the car took place. Kriminalkommissar Weber was responsible for the case. And he had a problem. How could it be that a car ended up in the Lahn without any sign of an accident anywhere on the riverbanks? It was already clear that the car had been lying on the bottom of the Lahn for years, but how was it possible that that happened without any sign of an accident?
    He didn’t know yet how long the car had been lying under water. The technicians at the garage were still working. More importantly, he had to know the type of the car. Now he only knew that it was a Raimer with the headlights separate from the mudguard and with a front windshield standing in an angle backwards, so it had to be a car from a period between the late 1930s and now according to him. However, he needed to know more before he could send out a nation-wide request for information.

    At the end of the day, Weber’s telephone rang. It was the garage, to tell that they had found and deciphered the licence plate.
    “That’s more than I hoped for,” Weber said. “What is the number?”
    “Surprisingly, it is a number from Landsberg, in the Harz,” the technician said.
    “That far away? Are you sure?” Weber asked.
    “I am deadly sure,” the technician said.
    “Can you give me the number? Then I’ll ask further in Landsberg,” Weber said.
    The technician gave the number. Weber thanked and hung up the phone. Then he phoned the police in Landsberg.

    “Polizeiamt Landsberg, guten Tag,” a woman said at the telephone.
    Guten Tag, this is Weber speaking, Kripo Rabenau,” Weber said.
    “Rabenau? Where is that?“ the telephonist asked.
    “That is in Niedereiffel, 100 km south of Marburg,” Weber said.
    “OK, sorry, I didn’t know that,” the telephonist said.
    “No problem, madam,” Weber said. “I have a question. Yesterday we found a car with Landsberger licence plates in the Lahn. We don’t know yet when it drove into the Lahn, but that must have happened years ago. So I would like to ask you to find out if you have a car reported missing in your records. Of course I will turn this into an official request.”
    “I can already transfer your question, so that people can already look into the archives,” the telephonist said.
    “Please do so,” Weber said. Then he gave the licence number.


    6 August 1954
    Mehdau

    Mehdau was a village of 5000 inhabitants in the northern mountains of Eiffelland. It was a popular village among mountaineers because of the many good mountaineering possibilities in the neighbourhood. As a result, Mehdau had about 2000 visitors per year in the summer.
    The 20-year-old Christoph von Weizenburg did everything he could to go there at least once a year, together with his sister, the 17-year-old Hilde. Technically, both were orphans. Their mother died about 10 years ago, and their father had been sentenced to life imprisonment because of his attempt to overthrow the government three years ago. Furthermore, he had lost his noble title of Freiherr (Baron), and the title had passed on to his heir. But because Christoph had been disinherited shortly before, Hilde had become the Freifrau.
    Christoph’s boyfriend Bastian Holzbrenner wasn’t a mountaineer, but he was in the village as well. The surroundings were also beautiful for a walk. Furthermore, he could not see Christoph very often, because the latter was currently doing his military service, so the two guys used every furlough Christoph got to see each other at least one day. And now they were in this village in the mountains. Bastian was medically unfit for military service because of a problem in his left leg, so he had to do civil service instead. Today he decided to watch Christoph climbing.
    Both Bastian and Christoph were negatively surprised to see Christoph’s ex-girlfriend, Sabine Erpel, in Mehdau as well. Sabine was also a mountaineer, and she was also part of the group of the Königlicher Eiffelländischer Bergsteigerbund (the Eiffellandian mountaineering association) that was currently climbing in Mehdau. Christoph didn’t really want to meet her again. He had been able to avoid her in his last two years of secondary school, and he had switched to another mountaineering club to avoid her, but now he was confronted with her again. Luckily, he didn’t have to climb with her. Until today. It appeared that Christoph and Sabine not only had been assigned to each other, but that Sabine had to lead as well. And there was no way to change that.

    “Sabine, what on earth are you doing?” Christoph asked. They had started about 4 hours ago with the mountain peak as destination, but Sabine had chosen a very strange route.
    “We can’t go straight to the top, Christoph, the mountain face is too unstable there,” Sabine said while indicating the route straight to the peak.
    “Really? Maybe, but we have been following a horizontal route for almost an hour, and the face is by far not unstable directly above us,” Christoph replied.
    “I’ve climbed this side of the mountain before, and I can tell you, it is unstable higher up,” Sabine said. “You can’t climb there.”
    “Well, the mountain face up here looks very well, so I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Christoph said.
    “Believe me, I know this mountain, it’s bad up there. We have to follow a different route,” Sabine said. “And to be very honest, I am currently leading, so I am the one who takes the decisions.”

    Strictly speaking, that was true. Sabine had to take the decisions. However, a good leader listened to the people he led according to Christoph, and Sabine was definitely following her own plan. The fact that she didn’t want to hear Christoph’s opinion hurt him. Christoph was serving in the mountain division of the 1st army, so maybe he was more experienced than Sabine was. The fact that she was leading was something Christoph accepted, but he didn’t like the way Sabine led at all.

    “What a strange route Sabine and Christoph are following,” Bastian said to the ground man.
    “Indeed,” the ground man said. “They had to go to the mountain peak, but they have been following a horizontal route for more than an hour. As if they want to go to the other side of the mountain.”
    “But why do they want to do so?” Bastian asked.
    “I don’t know. Maybe they decided that they couldn’t take the mountain face there, so they decided to take another route,” the ground man said. “But from here I don’t see anything strange on that part of the mountain, so I don’t know why they decided to do so. In any case, if they continue on this route, they’ll end up at the other side of the mountain. And then we can’t see them any more.”

    “Christoph, I want you back,” Sabine said while hammering the next hook into the mountain.
    “What?” Christoph screamed. “Is that the reason why we ended up here?”
    “Listen, Christoph, the GEL is in Mehdau,” Sabine said. “They want to kill you and Bastian.”

    Christoph frightened up. The GEL was the Gotisch-Eiffelländische Liga, a far right organisation. Christoph knew that he had earned himself some enemies in the GEL. His father was a background member of Eiffelland’s far right movement, but Christoph cooperated with the police and the Staatsschutz to prevent assaults against migrants and gays, and to prevent his father from overthrowing the government. All that happened three years ago. Since then, the GEL had kept itself low‑profile, but apparently up to now. But what was Sabine’s role in this? How did she know that the GEL was here?
    Meanwhile, Christoph and Sabine were on the other side of the mountain, but they had taken a very large detour: They had reached the other side of the mountain through a forest, out of the sight of the others. Nobody knew where they were, and the people who had reached the mountain peak were already on the way back. Christoph considered this a very frightening situation. What was Sabine up to?

    Verdammt, Sabine, why didn’t tell me earlier? I want to go back. Now,” Christoph screamed.
    Sabine hammered another hook into the mountain.
    “What are you doing?!” Christoph screamed.
    Sabine tied the security line to the new hook. Then she started talking again.
    “You can’t save Bastian any more. You won’t be back in Mehdau on time. Marry me, and I will save you,” she said.
    “What?” Christoph screamed. “What are you thinking? You deliberately let my boyfriend die and then I should marry you? By the way, how on earth can you protect me against the GEL?”
    “I can,” Sabine said, “but I will only do so if you promise to marry me.”
    “What a basis for a marriage. I should marry you, or else I get killed. Whoew, now I will fall in love with you,” Christoph screamed. Sabine took her knife, without Christoph noticing it. “Wait a minute. How come that you know that the GEL is here to kill Bastian and me? That’s only possible when you yourself have contacts to the GEL,” he screamed.
    “It doesn’t matter how I got that information,” Sabine said. “I got it, and I know a way to protect you. Will you marry me or not?” Sabine held her knife next to Christoph’s security line.
    “Don’t dare to cut that line, you GEL‑bitch!” Christoph screamed. He started to climb towards Sabine.
    “Will you marry me or not?” Sabine asked.
    “No!” Christoph screamed.
    Sabine had taken a serrated knife with her. The disadvantage was that it took longer to cut a rope, but the advantage was that the security line looked broken instead of cut. Now she could claim that the security line had broken and that Christoph had fallen from the mountain.
    While Sabine was cutting the security line, Christoph climbed towards her. But he couldn’t reach her, because she continuously kicked towards him.
    The security line fell into the valley. Sabine said “Goodbye, Christoph” and climbed away. Christoph, who had found enough grip to not fall into the valley as well, screamed after her with a cracking voice: “Gottverfluchte Hure!!!!Goddamned whore.
     
  3. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    10,111
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    6 August 1954
    Mehdau
    21:00

    “It’s too dark now! We stop searching; otherwise we put ourselves in danger! We will continue our search tomorrow!” the ground man shouted. A team of mountaineers from Mehdau had been searching for Christoph’s body in the neighbouring valley, but hadn’t found anything. A few hours earlier, Sabine had reached the base camp of that day and had told that the security line had ripped and that Christoph had fallen into the valley. Immediately after that, the ground man had formed a team of mountaineers to look for Christoph’s body. Now the search was stopped, despite Bastian’s protests.
    “Mr. Holzbrenner, we don’t see anything anymore,” the ground man said. “Maybe we would be able to find your friend when he would make light or something, but otherwise we can’t. It’s too dark now.”
    “But what if he’s injured? We have to find him now,” Bastian said, panicking. “What if the wolves find him?”
    “To be very honest, I don’t think that he is still alive, given his fall,” the ground man said. “At least according to what Miss Erpel told.”
    “And what if Miss Erpel lied?” Bastian asked.
    The ground man looked hard at Bastian.
    “Mr. Holzbrenner, I don’t want to hear such an accusation. We mountaineers have codes of honour. We don’t lie about this kind of things. Miss Erpel told the truth,” the ground man said angrily. “I am awfully sorry, but we are looking for a corpse. Or at least for somebody who is so severely injured that he won’t live out the evening, no matter what we do for him. I am not going to put my men into danger in that situation. We will continue searching tomorrow.”
    The ground man turned his back to Bastian, who realised that it wouldn’t make sense to discuss further.


    Stolzenau, Community Landsberg
    21:00

    Stolzenau was a village of 2000 inhabitants in the community of Landsberg, in the southern mountains of the Harz. It was named after the castle Stolzenau, a medieval castle at the top of the nearest mountain. This castle still had a lord: Gregor Herzog von Stolzenau. The Stolzenau family still owned the village Stolzenau, as well as an area of 400 km2 of agricultural land around the village, and all the farms on it. Almost all the inhabitants of Stolzenau paid rent to the Duke, and all the farmers in this area were tenants of the Duke. Exceptions were the local retailers, and the family doctor (who also had a pharmacy), who lived in the same buildings as they ran their shops or practices. The church and the presbytery were owned by the Tiburan Catholic Church, and there was also a building owned by the community of Landsberg, where three police officers had their office and the fire engine of the local voluntary fire‑brigade was located.
    Polizeihauptmeister Böhm was 40 years old. He was the leader of the police‑post in Stolzenau. Now he had the duty to tell the Duke that his son had been found. He had been reported missing by the Duke in 1942, together with the Duchess’s car. Now the car had been found in the Lahn, near a small village in Niedereiffel. Böhm drove to the castle on one of the NDU Konsul motorcycles of the police post. When he arrived there, he parked the motorcycle in front of the donjon of the castle, where the Ducal Family lived. Then he walked up the stairs and pulled the doorbell. The butler opened the door and led Böhm to the library, where the Duke and his wife received him. The Duke did not offer him a chair. Böhm, impressed by the situation and aware of the rules of the etiquette, didn’t dare to take a chair himself and remained standing. He greeted both the Duke and the Duchess, and bowed for them.
    “Good evening, Herr Polizeihauptmeister,” the Duke said. “I understood that you have news about our son.”
    “Indeed, Your Highness,” Böhm said. “We have probably found the body of your son. On 8 August 1942, you reported your son missing, who had gone on a short vacation with your wife’s car. At the beginning of this week, we found the car in the river Lahn, near Frohnhausen, in Niedereiffel, with a human body at the driver’s seat.”
    “And that body is our son,” the Duchess said.
    “Probably yes, Your Highness,” Böhm said. “However, the body still has to be identified.”
    “But how are you going to identify him? He has been lying in the water for 12 years. How can you be sure that it was really our son who drove the car?” the Duke said.
    “It is the most logical explanation, Your Highness, but like I said, the body has to be identified,” Böhm said. “It is still possible to identify him, but then we need data on his teeth, and whether he has broken any bones during his life. I would like to ask you permission to obtain those data.”
    “If that is the way we get certainty, we will give that permission,” the Duke said.
    “Thank you, Your Highness,” Böhm said. “There is one other thing I want to discuss. The police in Rabenau indicated that there was a second body in the car, on the passenger seat. Do you have any idea who that could have been?”
    The Duke and the Duchess looked at each other. Then the Duke answered: “I don’t know who that could have been. All of Gregor’s friends were present at the funeral. No-one was missing. But maybe Gregor had taken a hitch‑hiker with him,” the Duke said.
    “Hhmmm, a pity that you don’t know who that could have been,” Böhm said. “Maybe it was indeed a hitch‑hiker, but still we have to find out who he was. We have to notify his family that we found him. Or her. Of course it could have been a woman. But we don’t know anything, only that he or she was sitting on the passenger seat. We’ll let you know if you have to travel to Rabenau for the identification of your son.”


    Mehdau
    15:00

    Christoph climbed to the closest-by hook placed by Sabine and attached his spare rope to it. Then he realised that Sabine had placed the hook too loosely: It shot out of the mountain as soon as he hung on it. He fell down 10 meters before he managed to grab a protruding piece of rock. As soon as he found enough grip, he hammered a hook into the mountain, checked it and attached his spare rope to it. The hook held.
    Christoph took some time to rest and think. What just had happened, was so strange that he had to think it over. He had hardly spoken to Sabine for at least 3 years. Sabine had tried to contact him several times when they were still attending the Gymnasium [1], but she wasn’t able to contact him when he started his military service. She would have had enough time to forget him and find a new lower, but apparently she hadn’t done that. And apparently she had contacts with the GEL. How else would she know that the GEL was preparing an assault against him and Bastian?
    Wait! Bastian? Scheisse!!!! He had to get away here and notify Bastian as soon as possible! Verdammte Scheisse!!!! He didn’t have enough hooks to climb back on his own! What to do? He had to take either Sabine’s route back to the base camp or the route they had taken together. But how secure were Sabine’s hooks? Was she really bad in placing climbing hooks, or did she place that hook so badly on purpose? Christoph didn’t want to think of the implications of the latter option right now, but that was the reason why he decided to check the first hook of Sabine’s route back. He looked at the mountain face above him, and realised that it would take him a lot of time to climb it. But he started anyway.


    7 August 1954
    Mehdau
    00:00

    Bastian had been drinking several glasses of the strongest alcoholic liquors available in the hotel bar. About 2 hours ago, the group searching for Christoph’s body had returned to Mehdau. The search would be continued the next day. When Bastian arrived at the hotel, he went straight to the bar and started to drink. Now the bartender sent him to his room: “Entschuldigung, aber ich muss jetzt die Bar schließen. Bitte gehen Sie zu Ihrem Zimmer.Sorry, but I have to close the bar now. Please go to your room.
    Die Bar schließen? Verdammte Scheisse, mein Freund liegt da irgendwo in den Bergen, und du machst einfach weiter, als ob nichts passiert ist?” Bastian said loudly having troubles to articulate. Close the bar? My friend is lying somewhere in the mountains, and you continue your life as if nothing happened? [2]
    Ich weiss wie Sie sich fühlen, aber ich kriege Probleme mit der Polizei wenn ich Sie noch weiter bediene, also bitte,“ the bartender said. I know how you feel, but I get into trouble when I continue to serve you, so please.

    Meanwhile, Christoph had climbed back and walked back to the village. Now he entered the hotel. There was nobody at the desk, but he heard Bastian’s voice in the bar, in a way he had never heard him before. Then he realised that Bastian was drunk. He had to giggle a bit while listening to his boyfriend, despite the fact that he realised that Bastian was probably thinking that he was dead. He decided to walk to the bar to greet Bastian and help him if needed.

    When Bastian saw Christoph entering the bar, he frightened up. “Christoph?” he asked. “Are you a ghost? Or am I hallucinating?”
    “Neither. I’m real,” Christoph grinned. Then he walked to Bastian to embrace him.
    “Mr. von Weizenburg? But you had fallen while mountaineering today?“ the bartender asked baffled.
    “Indeed. Sabine said that you had fallen from the mountain,” Bastian said.
    “Sabine is a sneaky bitch,” Christoph said. “I will tell you later what happened at the mountain, but first things first. I wanted to see you first, but we have to notify the others. And before we do so, I have to grab something from upstairs.”
    “I’ll come with you,” Bastian said. Then they went to their hotel room.

    “Ah. This is what I was looking for,” Christoph said while holding up his officer’s gun.
    “Eh, what? Why do you need that?” Bastian asked. He was stunned.
    “Sabine told me at the mountain that the GEL is after us. And that it is here,” Christoph said. “I don’t know what went through her mind, she even told me that she could save me from the GEL if I would marry her, I don’t know if she tells the truth, but I saw a VAN outside with two people in it. They might have been observing you.”
    Bastian was immediately sober. “What are you telling me?” he asked.
    “I’m telling you that Sabine was blackmailing me at the mountain, and that she was telling me that the GEL is after us,” Christoph said.
    “But Sabine told us that you had fallen from the mountain because the security line ripped,” Bastian said.
    “The security line didn’t rip, Sabine cut it because I didn’t want to marry her,” Christoph said.
    “What?” Bastian asked.
    “I know it sounds unreal, but it is real. Well, I don’t know if Sabine’s story about the GEL is real, but better safe than sorry,” Christoph said while pointing at the gun and sticking it behind his belt in such a way that nobody would see it.
    “And what are you going to do now?” Bastian asked.
    “Did Sabine show her part of the security line?” Christoph asked.
    “Yes. It really looked like it was ripped, according to the ground man,” Bastian said.
    “Unfortunately, I lost my part of the security line, so I cannot prove it, but I tell you, she cut the line. I won’t tell that to the ground man though. I can’t prove anything, so I’ll keep my mouth shut. But this whole thing stinks,” Christoph said. “Now let’s notify the others.”

    But that wasn’t necessary any more. The bartender had called the two other hotels in the village to tell the good news, and after that he had notified the other guests in the hotel. A group of people went to Christoph’s room to see him, and then the whole group went to the bar, which was opened again by the bartender. Also the ground man and the mountaineers staying in the other hotels came to the hotel where Christoph and Bastian were staying.


    01:30

    “What is happening there?” one of the men in an electric EKW Schnellaster in front of the hotel asked.
    “I told you, Lars, it was Christoph who walked into the hotel. Now they are celebrating that the guy is still alive,” Uwe Wehnert said.
    “But Sabine told the whole village that Christoph had fallen from the mountain,” Lars Böhmer said.
    “Don’t ask me what happened, Christoph is alive,” Uwe said.
    “And now?” Lars asked.
    “Sabine failed, and she won’t get a second chance. We proceed to plan B,” Uwe said. He started the engine and drove away.


    OOC 1: [1] The Gymnasium is a type of secondary school that educates for university. At age 12, the pupils are selected out for each type of secondary school. The brightest ones go to the Gymnasium, the less bright ones to the Realschule and the least bright ones to the Hauptschule. Indeed, the RL German system, although the Germans already select at age 10.

    OOC 2: [2] The German word “Freund” can be translated as (male) “friend” but also as “boyfriend”. Bastian meant “boyfriend” but the bartender may have understood it as “friend”. Furthermore, Bastian adressed the bartender with “du” instead of “Sie”, which is impolite, but understandable given his condition.
     
  4. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    10,111
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    7 August 1954
    Mehdau

    “Are you sure that you want to climb again, Christoph?” Bastian asked.
    “Yes, I am. I have to, otherwise I’ll get acrophobia,” Christoph said. “Don’t worry, Sabine won’t be there, and I’ll lead this time.”
    Sabine had been denied access to today’s climbing session because of what had happened the day before, and the ground man had sent a letter to the executive committee of the climbers association, which would decide about her future membership. Currently she was packing her things to leave Mehdau. But still Bastian was worried. If indeed the GEL was here, who were they? He decided to stay with the ground man, like the day before. There were many walking routes around Mehdau as well, and Bastian had walked some of them, but now he considered it better to stay in the neighbourhood of other people. Next year they had to arrange things differently, so that Bastian could join walking groups while Christoph climbed.

    Despite what had happened the day before, Christoph felt happy feeling rock under his hands. It was the last day he could climb here. OK, in two weeks, he would be in the mountains again when he would go back to his army unit, but then again. This was recreation, the army was duty. Moreover, he served in the perpetual snow of the threethousanders, and that was quite a lot harder than climbing a rock wall at 1500 meters. This he enjoyed, the perpetual snow he didn’t enjoy. Furthermore, he knew the magnificent view he would see when he would reach the top of this mountain.


    Nichtsteiner-Eiffelländer border, near Villach

    Passing the border between Nichtstein and Eiffelland was easy to do. Given the fact that both countries were in a personal union (the King of Eiffelland was also the Grand-Duke of Nichtstein), the border checkings between both countries were not so thorough. The customs officers were relaxed, and most of the times they only checked the passports of the people crossing the border. However, there was one man to whom crossing the border to Eiffelland was like entering holy ground. And today this man passed the border. He was a jeweller from Nichtstein. A wealthy jeweller. He passed the border in his luxury car from a Tiburtine brand and drove to Stolzenau. He had an appointment with the Duke of Stolzenau.


    A military base near Aachen

    Sowas gibt es in unseren Kreisen nicht.Something like that doesn’t occur in our circles.

    Lothar von Stolzenau, the second son of the Duke of Stolzenau, still remembered those words. He was 10 years old when he heard his father saying those words to his older brother Gregor, at that time the son and heir. He was listening at the door of his father’s study, when his father said those words with much emphasis. But Lothar didn’t understand the context of those words. That was the last day he saw his older brother. After that quarrel, Gregor stole the keys of their mother’s car and disappeared. Where to?
    After Gregor disappeared, the family never talked about him again. At least Lothar’s parents didn’t. It became clear to Lothar soon enough to not ask any questions. Also he remained silent and evaded the questions about his brother. The Ducal Family von Stolzenau acted as if it never had a son called Gregor. Only years later, Lothar understood that this was due to a scandal that the family wanted to hide. Indeed, then it was better not to talk about it. You didn’t wash your dirty linen in public.
    Since Gregor’s disappearance, Lothar had been raised as the son and heir. Born in a conservative noble family that still adhered to practices of the 19th century, Lothar was raised by a governess and sent to a boarding school at age 12. After that, he went to the military academy. Not because he wanted to become an officer in the army, but because it was family tradition. Nobody asked him the question what he wanted to become. He never asked that question to himself, either. He just did what the family tradition told him to do. He had absolved the military academy a month ago, and he was already serving as a Lieutenant in the Second Army. Now he was mainly doing administrative work in a base close-by, but he would get his first platoon in October.
    He would also marry soon, during a party that even the King would attend. He met Ursula at a garden party 2 years ago, and the two got engaged last year, with the blessing of the parents from both sides. Of course, the marriage would not have taken place if the parents would have been against it. Indeed, Lothar von Stolzenau’s future was bright. He would inherit the Stolzenau properties. And he would uphold the traditions. Who was he to question the traditions?


    Mehdau

    Bastian was glad to see Christoph back in the valley again. He knew that his boyfriend needed this from time to time, but every time he was afraid that the latter wouldn’t come down in the conventional way. He was glad that they would go to Bad Hersfeld the next day. Sun, Sea, Beach, Cocktails and some very good memories, especially with Christoph. Bastian liked the mountains, but he liked the sea more. In any case, he and Christoph had found a good modus operandi for their holidays: First a week in the mountains and then a week at the beach. In Bad Hersfeld, they would stay with Christoph’s family. His uncle, who was also his guardian, had an apartment at the beach there, and Bastian’s family was in Bad Hersfeld as well.


    Stolzenau

    The Duke was proud at his son. He had married a beautiful girl from a prominent aristocratic family, he had graduated from the Military Academy with good notes, he was well mannered, all in all he had everything in him for a great future. What more could a man want? Lothar would equal out the scandal inflicted upon the family by Gregor jr., whom the Duke didn’t consider his son any more. The scandal had efficiently been kept a secret, but still hurt the Duke. Then how good it was to see his second son flourish. A young man proud of his ancestry, who understood the duties inflicted upon him, who kept up the traditions needed to keep Nobility Nobility.
    One of those traditions was that a young Nobleman went to the Military Academy to get a career in the Armed Forces, Like Lothar had done. Moreover, unlike most young Nobles in Eiffelland did: Most of them went to University. Even the Royal Princes went there. Well, OK, except Johann, who was the only Real Man in the Royal Family. All others were weaklings. Like most young nobles. University created weaklings; the Military Academy created Real Men. And a Nobleman had to be a Real Man. Of course with good and civilised manners, but still a Real Man. And that was what he didn’t see among most young Nobles from his son’s age any more.

    When the jeweller arrived at Schloss Stolzenau, the butler led him to one of the sitting rooms in the castle. On one of the walls of this room, an enormous painting of a landscape had been painted on it. The jeweller immediately saw that it was a painting in rococo-style, and that the painter did not have made a copy of the landscape he saw through the window. In fact, the painting represented a hilly landscape. Maybe not even a landscape that had ever existed this way.
    “Jean-Honoré Fragonard visited this castle in 1775, after his stay in Weissenfels,” the Duke said, “and painted this landscape. Since then, this room has been called the Landschaftzimmer.” Landscape room.
    The jeweller turned to the Duke, who had entered the room. “Good evening, Your Highness,” he said.
    “Good evening, Mr. Schleifer,” the Duke said. “Did the butler take care of a drink for you?”
    “Not yet, Your Highness,” Schleifer said.
    The Duke went to a chord hanging above a chaise-longue and pulled it. The butler arrived soon afterwards.
    “Bring us a bottle of dry white wine and two glasses,” the Duke said. And the butler left.
    “Dry white wine is the best thing to drink on a hot evening like this one, don’t you think? Please do sit down,” the Duke said.
    Schleifer seated himself on one of the chairs. The Duke seated himself in front of him. Then the butler came in with the wine, and poored two glasses.
    “Now to business,” the Duke said. “Eiffelland. We both know that my beloved country needs an overhaul. Especially after the current King signed a law legalising homosexuality.”
    “I completely agree with you, You Highness,” Schleifer said. “Von Seydewitz helps a bunch of cryptocommunists with overthrowing the rightful government of Wendziema, and after that obtains a historic gain in the elections. The people of Eiffelland need to be awakened. But to be very honest, you won’t awaken anybody with the people currently representing your cause. They lack charisma, and they lack it badly.”
    “I know, but they are the only ones I have,” the Duke said. “Your career is over as soon as you sympathise with the Volksunion or the GEL in public. Sacrificing your career for The Cause is extremely laudable, but at this moment obtuse.”
    “I understand,” Schleifer said. “But Meißner’s and Ziesche’s lack of charisma is not your only problem. Currently it goes too well in Eiffelland. Too many people are satisfied. You won’t get your revolution when 95% of the people is satisfied. You have to destabilise the country.”
    “Von Weizenburg already tried that,” the Duke said. “And failed miserably.”
    “I know. Von Weizenburg was the wrong choice,” Schleifer said.
    “The wrong choice of whom?” the Duke asked.
    “The wrong choice of mine,” Schleifer said.
    “I don’t understand,” the Duke said.
    “Von Weizenburg was my choice,” Schleifer said.
    “Wait. You are saying that you were behind those terrorist attacks three years ago?” the Duke asked.
    “Yes,” Schleifer said.
    “But what is your interest in a revolution in Eiffelland? You are a Nichtsteiner,” the Duke said.
    “I am Lothar’s descendant,” Schleifer said.
     
  5. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    7 August 1954
    Stolzenau

    “Lothar’s descendant?” the Duke of Stolzenau asked. “I don’t understand. Explain yourself.”
    “I am the descendant of King Lothar VII,” Schleifer said.
    “King Lothar VII? But he died without children,” the Duke said.
    “That is what everybody thought,” Schleifer said. “So the Eiffellandian Throne went to the son of King Lothar’s sister Charlotte, according to the will of their father, King Philipp IV. But actually King Lothar was married. And actually he had a son. That son continued the line, and now I am here.”
    “This story is hard to believe, Mr. Schleifer. Can you prove it?” the Duke asked.
    Schleifer took a package of papers out of his bag. Then he showed each paper one-by-one to the Duke.
    “This is the marriage certificate of the marriage between at that moment still Prince Lothar and the daughter of a Wendzieman Duke … This is the birth certificate of their son, Karl … Marriage certificate of Karl … Birth certificate … Marriage certificate … Birth certificate … Marriage certificate,” Schleifer continued until his own birth certificate.
    The Duke once heard about a history of a love affair between King Lothar and an opera diva, but he didn’t know anything about a possible child. This was new. And also a marriage of King Lothar was new.
    “This is quite overwhelming. Nobody apparently knew that King Lothar was married. Apparently not even King Philipp, who already took measures in his will for the case that his son would not continue the line. What happened to King Lothar’s wife? And why did his son never become part of the Royal House? The only reason I can think of, is that the two married in secret. And they will only have done so if King Philipp had forbidden this marriage. Why would he have done so? Indeed, Lothar would have married slightly beneath his position, but that can’t be the reason. King Philipp gave his daughter Charlotte away to the son of the Duke of Sauerland, so he apparently didn’t make a point of the slight difference in position between a King and a Duke. Then why didn’t he approve a marriage between his son and the daughter of a Wendzieman Duke?” the Duke asked.
    “Does that matter?” Schleifer asked. “The only thing that matters, is that King Lothar had a son, so the accession to the Eiffellandian Throne of Duke Albrecht V of Sauerland was illegitimate. And with that his complete line of succession.´
    “That doesn’t matter, either. Those papers are worthless. You will never get the Hadamars off the throne,” the Duke said. “Not by legal manners, and not by illegal manners, either. The Von Dietz-Hadamar family is too popular. That in the first place. Nobody will want King Albrecht to be replaced. The Hohe Staatsgericht will think up a nice train of thought to make the status quo legitimate, if the marriage certificate will not be declared a falsification beforehand.”
    The Duke took a sip of his wine, and then continued.
    “Mr. Schleifer,” he said, “you are about to make the same mistake as three years ago. Eiffelland was not ripe for a revolution at that time, and still isn’t. Furthermore, everyone is prepared now. I know Chancellor Von Seydewitz. That man is extremely alert, especially when it comes to what he considers political extremism. The Staatsschutz is still looking at us with very much interest. We can’t move a finger without Von Seydewitz knowing it.”
    “What about making the country ripe for a revolution?” Schleifer asked.
    “You already tried that,” the Duke said.
    “Indeed. And it went extremely well, until that sodomite son of Von Weizenburg went to the police,” Schleifen said. “And Von Weizenburg himself wasn’t a good choice, either. I never expected a man leading a company with a 3 million Marks turnover to loose his nerves so quickly.”
    “It was a nice plan, Mr. Schleifer, but now everybody is alert,” the Duke said. “It will be extremely difficult to try again what you tried 3 years ago.”
    “But not impossible, Your Highness. I’ll have to stay in Eiffelland for business reasons for the rest of this week. I’ll take a lunch in restaurant ‘Die Drei Mohren’ in Püngelscheid, near the A5, the road Salzburg‑Villach, next Sunday at 1 o’ clock in the afternoon. Please join me there. We will discuss things further,” Schleifer said.
     
  6. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    10,111
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
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    20 August 1954
    Rabenau

    Kriminalkommissar Weber had two bodies to identify. One of them was Gregor von Stolzenau jr., the eldest son of the Duke of Stolzenau. He had been identified without any doubt. But who was the other one? He or she could be anyone. In a country like Eiffelland, 40,000 people were reported missing each year. Luckily, in by far the most cases, those persons were found back alive within hours or days. Sometimes it took somewhat longer to find a missing person, and sometimes only someone’s body was found. In the end, 10 to 15 persons gone missing could not be found. The most logical thing to do was checking the records.
    Gregor von Stolzenau jr. had been reported missing on 8 August 1942. The Stolzenaus indicated that Gregor took his mother’s car to go on a vacation at the beginning of July. During the same period, Stolzenau, his wife and their two other children went on a holiday themselves. They returned at the family castle at the beginning of August, and would expect Gregor Jr. back around the same time. That didn’t happen, so they reported him missing. He would have gone on a road trip to Tiburtina, at least that was what his parents had told. The car was found in the Lahn, however. Gregor didn’t drive to Tiburtina, he went to the South. And not to Bad Hersfeld, Eiffelland’s most trendy spa, otherwise he would have been found far more to the West. What was he looking for in this neighbourhood? Was he here on a voluntary basis, or had he been kidnapped? If the latter, by whom?
    Weber could only find out if he knew the identity of the other victim. Coincidentally, a second person had been reported missing in those same days. Wilhelm Maier, 18 years old when he was reported missing in June 1942. The same age as Gregor von Stolzenau Jr. at that time. Furthermore, Wilhelm lived in Villach when he disappeared, the city where Gregor attended the Jesuit boarding school as an intern. Coincidence? Maybe. Wilhelm was reported missing on 18 June, the Stolzenaus told that they had seen Gregor for the last time in the beginning of July. There was a two weeks gap between the disappearances of the two boys, but the fact that two boys living in Villach disappear in such a short time was something worth investigating. Weber decided to phone the police in Villach. Chances were small, but not zero.


    22 August 1954
    Villach

    Villach was a city with 260,000 inhabitants in the northernmost province of Eiffelland, the Harz. It was about 30 km away from the Nichtsteiner border, already in the mountains of the Harz, at 1000 meters above sea level. It had become a relatively large city because of the quartz mines and the marble quarries in the neighbourhood, and because it was situated at a crossing of three important roads.
    No matter how good an economic system was, no matter how stable a country was, there was always a group of people that always had bad luck and never profited from anything. For a strange reason, such persons always ended up in certain neighbourhoods with bad houses and bad facilities. Of course, the people living in those neighbourhoods were always overrepresented in the crime statistics. Wilhelm Maier’s mother lived exactly in such a neighbourhood—his father died a couple of years ago. Kriminalkommissar Krämer decided to take a motorcycle to go to her. He knew that he would struck in that neighbourhood (he would even do so with a moped), but a car would struck even more.
    The staircase leading to Mrs. Maier’s one-bedroom apartment used to have a front door but didn’t have one any more. Krämer could just enter the staircase and walk to Mrs. Maier’s apartment. He knocked at the door. A decrepit woman opened the door. Mrs. Maier. She was 55 years old, but looked almost 80.
    “Yeah?! Whaddayawant?” the woman yelled in Villacher dialect. Apparently, she was in a bad mood.
    Guten tag, Frau Maier, mein Name ist Krämer, Kriminalpolizei Villach,“ Krämer said.Good afternoon, Mrs. Maier, my name is Krämer, crime department of the police in Villach
    “The Kripo? What is it now? Atze is already in jail, and I’m not even allowed to visit him,” the woman yelled. Apparently, she referred to one of her other sons, baptized Joachim, but apparently called Atze, a man with an impressive crime record, who was recently sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for fencing, and would have been punished much more severe if his involvement in a certain liquidation would have been proven.
    “No, I’m not here for Atze, Mrs. Maier. I am here for your son Wilhelm,” Krämer said.
    “Willy?” Mrs. Maier asked, less loudly and less angrily.
    “Yes, Willy,” Krämer said.
    “Where did you find him?” Mrs. Maier said.
    “Well, we don’t know yet, but we may have found him,” Krämer said.
    “Where?” Mrs. Maier asked.
    “In a car wreck, together with somebody else,” Krämer said. “I need to ask you some questions.”
    “Come in,” Mrs. Maier said.

    The inside of the apartment was in about the same state as the outside of the building. The wallpapers were loosening, the air was dank, and the wallpapers that didn’t loosen showed damp stains. The furniture was in a bad state, and the house hadn’t been cleaned for a long time. Krämer had already noticed that Mrs. Maier hadn’t taken a shower for a long time, but now it became more apparent.

    “Where did you find him?” Mrs. Maier asked.
    “First of all, I have to say that we are not sure yet if we found him or not. This is what we know. Around the same time as Willy disappeared, a boy who attended the Jesuit Boarding School here in Villach disappeared as well,” Krämer said. He wanted to continue, but Mrs. Maier stopped him.
    “I remember. One of those noble kids seduced Willy,” she said. “My husband found them in the park while they were doing some dirty things. Of course we forbade Willy to see that spoilt brat again, and we went to the Jesuit School to turn the boy in. A few days later, Willy disappeared. And now you say that you may have found him?”
    This was new to Krämer. A possible love-affair between Gregor von Stolzenau and Willy Maier. Something that was certainly not appreciated. Krämer knew what the people in this neighbourhood thought about homosexuality. Willy would have had a very difficult time. And the Stolzenaus would have had their own particular reasons for disapproving this love affair. The Kripo in Rabenau would be very interested to hear this, because this made it much more plausible that the second body was Willy Maier.
    “We’re not sure. We found a car in a river that belonged to the mother of, well, let’s call him Willy’s friend. We also found the remains of two people in that car. One of them has been identified as Willy’s friend. Then we went through the archives to see if there was anybody who disappeared around the same time as Willy’s friend disappeared. Willy was the only one,” Krämer said. “But we don’t know anything for sure. We have to identify him first. Can you tell me anything about his teeth? Did he ever break a bone?”
    Mrs. Maier told everything she knew. Krämer thanked her for that. Then he walked to the front door: “I’ll leave myself out, no need to bother.”
    But just before opening the front door, he turned around.
    “One more question, Mrs. Maier, what kind of boy was Willy?” he asked.
    Mrs. Maier thought for a moment. “He was like the other guys from his age. The occasional mischief, sometimes a fight. The only difference was that he chose for swimming classes instead of boxing classes,” she said.
    “How did he do at school?” Krämer asked.
    “Also there like everyone else. Not really good, not really bad,” Mrs. Krämer said. “He learnt for carpenter at the Städtische Hauptschule here in the quarter. After that, he started working for a mining company, like his father. With that respect, he was easier to handle than Atze. He would enter society service one month after he disappeared. He always went to swimming training on Tuesdays and Fridays, also on that day that my husband found him with that rich kid. We discovered that the municipal swimming pool closed one hour earlier than he had told us, so we decided to check what he did after the swimming pool closed. It appeared that he did things with that rich kid when they left the swimming training.”

    After his visit to Willy’s mother, Krämer decided to go to the Jesuit School in Villach as well. He started the engine of his motorcycle. At the Jesuit School, he was received by the headmaster, who still remembered Gregor von Stolzenau.
    “I remember that he was brought to the school by the father of the guy he had been caught with. This was not something we could take lightly. This is a Catholic school. We are under the authority of the Tiburan Catholic Church. Furthermore, our pupils are sons of the elite. Noble families, old business families and old academic families. Sons of lawyers and doctors. Our pupils have a task to fulfil: To continue the line, of course with a girl that matches their own ancestry. A son of an elite family will only be able to close a good marriage if he is pure in the eyes of the parents of the girl he wants to marry. Stories about him having intercourse with other girls will be disadvantageous. Therefore, we can’t allow our pupils to have intercourse,” the headmaster said. “In this case, it was even more severe. Gregor’s position on the marriage market would have been difficult, but not impossible, if he would have been caught with a girl. But he was caught with a boy. You can’t imagine how shameful it is to a family if one of its sons has unnatural desires.”
    “So you expelled him?” Krämer asked.
    “Don’t judge me on that. I have to expel a pupil with unnatural desires, because otherwise the parents of the other pupils will take their sons off of this school, afraid as they are that any unnatural desires might be awakened. Furthermore, it is simply against the rules of this school,” the headmaster said.
    “And what if Gregor would have been caught with a girl?” Krämer asked.
    “Then he would have been expelled as well, but then we may have allowed him to finish the school year, because he was caught so close to the beginning of the summer holidays,” the headmaster said. “We considered doing so in the case of Gregor as well. Please note that we only had the accusation of that man against him. There were no other witnesses, and Gregor denied the accusations. Then we found pictures of naked men in Gregor’s room. With that, Gregor’s fate had been sealed. We couldn’t do anything else than expel him immediately. And now you tell that he was found in a car wreck in a river?”
    “Yes,” Krämer said.
    “With the guy he had been caught with?” the headmaster asked.
    “Possibly,” Krämer said.
    “So they persevered in their sin. What a loss. God won’t have judged them mildly,” the headmaster said.

    Krämer had the link between Gregor von Stolzenau Jr. and Willy Maier. In more than one way. The headmaster also confirmed that Gregor attended swimming classes in the city, every Tuesday and Friday, and in the same swimming pool as Willy Maier. And there was also one other thing he didn’t want to tell to the headmaster of the Jesuit School. He knew that some pupils of the Jesuit School weren’t as pure as they were believed to be. They actually saw girls from time to time. The school would only be able to prevent that if it would keep all pupils inside, especially the older ones. Gregor would never have been able to meet with Willy if one of the priests would have accompanied him to the swimming pool.
    On the other hand, treating 17 year olds like 12 year olds would require a tyrannical school regime. Krämer understood that very well. Furthermore, a cynical little voice inside him said that it wouldn’t matter after all what you did behind the scenes as a descendant from the elite, as long as the outer world didn’t know what happened behind the scenes. All in all, it was just a matter of keeping up appearances for the elite.
     
  7. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    10,111
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
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    Trier
    12 November 1954
    Cruiser K-1 SMS Aachen
    Sea between Eiffelland and Caria

    Hallo Dieterchen, wie geht’s dir?Hello my little Dieter, how are you doing?

    Fucking asshole, knowing that you have me by the balls, you even call me by my first name, Sea-Lieutenant Dieter Weißburg thought. But he couldn’t say that out loud. Not only becauseStaff Boatswain Günschel was 1.90 meters tall and weighted 100 kg.
    He was standing at the rail, looking over the sea on a cloudy November morning, when Günschel came to him.

    “Why do you ask?” Weißburg asked.
    “Just out of curiosity, Dieterchen,” Günschel said, as if Weißburg were a six year old child.
    “What do you want?” Dieter asked.
    “You already know that,” Günschel said. “The codes.”


    Summer 1951
    Bremen, Eiffelland

    “Bitten by a chimpanzee? You’re kidding,” somebody said in the sailor café where Dieter had landed. School had just ended. One more year and he would do the final exams. Then he would go to the navy. He had already been medically examined, and he had been considered fit for service and fit for the officer course.
    But not everything went good for him. He suffered from heartbreak because of the girl he had been in love with for almost a year, and whom he only dared to approach at one of the parties after the test weeks at the end of the school year. She rejected him bluntly. Later on, he saw her kissing one of his worst bullies. He left without anyone saying anything and went to the closest-by café, where he started to drink and drink and drink. One week later, he got his final school report and heard that he moved up and went on a holiday. Alone. He traveled from Innsbruck to Bremen, seduced every girl he could get and drank until he got drunk in every city he visited. Also in Bremen.
    “No, I’m not. Here’s the scar,” the man said while showing his shoulder. He was a sailor of about 30 years, and had sailed across all the oceans. He was just telling about his adventures in Southern Hymiar. Dieter listened to the man with much interest.
    Later that night, Dieter and the sailor were the last guests in the café. At closure time, the bartender asked them to leave, and so they did. But Dieter didn’t go to be immediately. The sailor asked him to join him to his motel, and so he did. That was where Dieter was introduced to heroin. The sailor offered it to him, and he accepted. He used the sailor’s needle to inject it, and finally found the escape from his life as a teenager with older brothers and classmates who constantly bullied him.
    He stayed with the sailor for a few days, until the latter was shot by his dealer because of unpaid debts. Dieter was at the bathroom at that moment, managed to remain unnoticed, looked at the sailor and then fled. But one thing he had noticed: The many thin scars on the sailor’s arms. Dieter realised that those were from the injections with heroin. That was something he didn’t want to risk. Especially in Eiffelland, with its harsh laws on hard drug abuse, it was needed to hide your addiction. A few days later, Dieter would learn that heroin could also be smoked. Overhappy that he had found a way to escape from reality without getting scars, he switched over to heroin smoking instead of injecting.


    12 November 1954
    Cruiser K-1 SMS Aachen
    Sea between Eiffelland and Caria

    Dieter had narrowly passed the course for Navy Officer. He was just fit enough for passing the final tests, so he became a Navy Officer. After then, his condition deteriorated and deteriorated. Nobody knew why. Because nobody knew about his second life as a drug addict.
    Until Staff Boatswain Günschel noticed it. He should have reported it to his superiors in the Navy, but instead he reported it to his superiors in the GEL. They immediately realised that they had gold in their hands. Dieter was radio officer at the Aachen. That meant that he had access to the Navy communication codes. A bit of research showed that Dieter also had a debt with his drug dealer. The GEL promised to take over that debt and even pay for Dieter’s drugs, but then he had to provide the Navy communication codes.

    Dieter got one of the coughing attacks that had started a couple of days ago.
    “People say that the sea air is healthy, but apparently not for you, Dieterchen,” Günschel said without any sign of compassion. “I already noticed that you are suffering from diarrhoea as well,” he continued sarcasticly. Dieter coughed some more times. Then he started to talk.
    “I already told you that it is not easy to obtain those codes. I haven’t had access to them yet. But believe me, that will happen soon,” Dieter said.
    “I hope for you that it will happen soon, Dieterchen,” Günschel said. “Our patience is large, but not unlimited. Be aware of that.” And he walked away.

    Our patience is large, but not unlimited. Be aware of that,” the radio device cracked.
    “I told you that it would work, Herr Kapitän,” the marconist said. Despite his success, he was in a sad mood. Dieter Weißburg was his superior.
    “Thank you, Bootsmann,” the captain said. Then he ordered the arrestment of Günschel and Weißburg through a walkie-talkie.

    The first persons Günschel met after his talking to Weißburg, was Lieutenant Ludwig von Dietz-Hadamar with five sailors around him. All were armed. All pointed their guns at Günschel.
    Stabsbootsmann Günschel, Sie sind verhaftet,” Ludwig said neutrally on his normal volume (which was relatively soft). Staff Boatswain Günschel, you’re under arrest.
    “Based on what, Schwuchtelchen?” Günschel said. Little faggot.
    Ludwig felt the anger boiling in his body. He had already had an encounter with this man before, before the latter’s promotion. This man had already called him a Schwuchtelchen back then, and that had frightened him up. It was only known to his family and some people in the Königlicher Garde that Ludwig was gay, although there were some rumours in Trier. Where did Günschel get his information from? Later on, Günschel worked on another ship for a while, but recently he had been moved to the Aachen again. And now this man called him a Schwuchtelchen in front of other sailors. Kicked out of the closet in front of his subordinates. But nobody saw his emotions. Ludwig had many qualities. One of them was hiding his emotions when he was angry or sad. He had only failed to do so twice in his life.
    Herr Leutnant für Sie,” Ludwig said neutrally, still on his normal volume. He knew what would happen to Günschel. That would be revenge enough for the insult, and he didn’t want to enjoy Günschel with his anger. So he acted in a neutral manner. “Lieutenant Weißburg could have informed you about it. Strangely, he didn’t. I don’t know why, but then I will tell you. The microphone techniques have improved dramaticly recently. You will hear it in the charge-room,” he continued with the same neutral tone in his voice, and on the same volume. Lieutenant for you.
    Günschel grabbed his gun and moved it towards his temple. Ludwig pointed his gun and fired Günschel in the shoulder. Günschel dropped his gun and stared at Ludwig, not understanding why the latter had prevented his suicide.
    “You will drink the whole goblet, Stabsbootsmann,” Ludwig said neutrally on his normal volume. Then he heard his walkie-talkie. It was the lieutenant who was arresting Weißburg.
    Lieutenant Weißburg just collapsed. We need medical assistance to take him to sick bay,” the walkie-talkie cracked.
    “Here Lieutenant Von Dietz-Hadamar. We had to prevent Staff Boatswain Günschel from committing suicide. He is wounded as well. Also we need medical assistance. Additionally to that, measures are needed to prevent the Staff Boatswain from attempting suicide again,” Ludwig said in the walkie-talkie.

    “My goodness. Langhals, have you ever seen this?” Doctor Maas said.
    Doctor Langhals walked to the microscope where Maas was looking at Dieter’s sputum. Then he looked through the microscope as well.
    “Not in real,” Langhals said. “But I remember a drawing of it. This might be Pneumocystis Carinii.”
    “Pneumocystis Carinii? That’s impossible.” Maas said.
    “Really? Our Lieutenant Weißburg is by far not as healthy as the average Navy Lieutenant,” Langhals said. “I have the Neubauer under the microscope. He has a largely reduced leucocyte count. But more importantly, did you look at his pupils? They are extremely narrow.”
    “Heroin?” Maas asked.
    “I’m afraid so,” Langhals said. “You know what that means. The man has efficiently broken down his body.”
    Maas remained silent for a moment. Then he said: “I’m going to do the leucocyte diff. Any evidence for anaemia?”
    “He isn’t anaemic, but his BSR is elevated,” Langhals said while looking at the BSR tube.
    Maas started to differentiate the leucocytes. When he had finished doing so, he said: “He hardly has any lymphocytes.”
    “Well at least that indicates that he is immunocompromised,” Langhals said, indicating that Dieter had a problem in his immune system. “That also explains why that Pneumocystis Carinii could start to grow.”
    Then a hospik walked in. “Gentlemen, here is the preparate of Lieutenant Weißburg’s stool,” he said.
    “Thank you, Bootsmannsmaat,” Langhals said. He put it under the microscope. Bootsmannsmaat is a rank several levels under Boatswain
    In the Navy, the doctors all had an officer rank, at least Lieutenant. The hospik should have said “Herr Leutnant”, but he said “Meine Herren”, because he wanted to adress both doctors.
    Langhals was astonished. “Granulomata?!” he said.
    Maas looked as well. “Indeed. Granulomata,” he said.
    “What are we going to do now? A Mantoux?” Langhals said.
    “That will take too long for Weißburg,” Maas said. “I propose a Ziehl-Neelsen on his blood and stool.”
    “You’re right. Let’s do it,” Langhals said.
    “What does this all mean?” the hospik asked.
    “We can’t tell yet, Bootsmannsmaat. Could you do a Ziehl-Neelsen colouring on Weißburg’s stool and blood?” Maas asked.
    “Does this mean that you are thinking of tuberculosis?” the hospik asked.
    “Yes,” Maas said.
    The hospik became pale. After a few seconds, he said: “Just a minute.” He walked away to do the colourings.

    After a while, the results of the colourings were in. Lieutenant Dieter Weißburg turned out to have tuberculosis in his bowel.

    The Aachen was put under quarantine. Lieutenant Weißburg was transported to the Navy hospital in Bremen, together with a large report by Maas and Langhals, and a set of microscope preparates.
    A large amount of injection needles, Mantoux serum and tuberculostatics was delivered to the ship as well, so that the whole crew could be checked for tuberculosis in a few days.

    Boatswain Günschel was transported to Bremen as well. But while being quarantined, he would also be interrogated, despite his shoulder wound.
     
  8. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    10,111
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    20 November 1954
    Bremen, Eiffelland

    Doctors working for the Eiffellandian armed forces always received the salary belonging to one rank higher than they had. This because otherwise the armed forces would not be able to keep well-qualified doctors in their ranks. There was one exception to that rule: If a doctor had studied on a stipendium from the Ministry for Defence, he received the salary belonging to his rank.
    To keep their experience up-to-date, the doctors did not work for the armed forces full-time. Mostly, they were detached to a certain unit of the armed forces for one month, and then they returned to normal life for 5 months. This was especially the case for doctors working for the Blue-Sea Navy. The larger Navy ships always had two or more surgeons, two or more anaesthesists and two or more internists on board (each of them having a Facharztausbildung), and additional to them six to ten assistant-doctors, who were doing their military service. Also here there was a difference for the doctors who studied on a stipendium from the Ministry for Defence: These doctors worked for the armed forces full-time for 10 years. Mostly, they ended up being general practitioners afterwards, but sometimes they got a Facharztausbildung from the armed forces as well.

    The armed forces could set-up field hospitals with full equipment in no time, but in peacetime they sent their patients in need of hospital care to university hospitals, because mostly such patients suffered from complex injuries obtained during exercises. As a consequence, a simple soldier doing his military service could be operated by an Oberarzt or even a Chefarzt for the appendicitis he obtained in the armed forces.

    Maas and Langhals, the two doctors examining Dieter Weißburg, were assistant-doctors. Their report had been read and approved by one of the internists on board of the Aachen. Now Weißburg was treated at the Universitätsklinik Bremen by the internist Dr. Ludwig Koch and two assistants. And it was Dr. Koch who was wondering about some things.
    He agreed with the report by Maas and Langhals that Weißburg’s body was in an extremely bad condition, but there was one thing that could not be explained: The fact that Weißburg had so few lymphocytes. Koch had taken a bone marrow sample, but that didn’t reveal anything, either. Weißburg’s bone marrow was normal. Then why did the lymphocytes disappear? That was Koch’s question, because that was the key to the question whether he and his assistants could cure Weißburg or not.

    Somebody knocked at the door. “Come in,” Koch said loudly. Lucas Bergsteiger, one of his assistants, walked in, with a paper.
    Herr Doktor Koch, I have the results from microbiology here,” he said. “It is not Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but Mycobacterium avium.”
    “Mycobacterium avium?” Koch asked surprised.
    “Yes, Mycobacterium avium,” Bergsteiger said.
    “Normally we only see that in leukaemia patients, but Weißburg doesn’t have leukaemia,” Koch said. “I’m completely baffled. What is going on?”
    After a few minutes, Koch said: “Bergsteiger, could you look for Gallian and then come back here? We need to discuss.”

    A quarter of an hour later, Bergsteiger came back to Koch’s office, with his colleague assistant doctor Gallian. Koch offered both a seat, and then seated himself.
    “Gentlemen,” he said, “I have to be frank. I have never seen and never heard of a case like Dieter Weißburg. The only way we can cure Weißburg is to take away the reason why his lymphocytes are disappearing. But to do so, we must know that reason. If we don’t find that reason, …. we will lose our patient.” Koch paused for a moment. Then he continued.
    “The coming weeks, we will spend our evenings and weekends in the library of the faculty. I don’t think we will find anything about this in the learning books, so we will concentrate on the scientific magazines.”

    “Who needed the Navy communication codes?” Staatsschutzkommissar Barzel asked.
    Günschel remained silent.
    “Who gave you the order to obtain the codes?” Barzel asked.
    Günschel remained silent.
    ‘Mr. Günschel, you are only making it more difficult to yourself,” Barzel said. “We have enough evidence to have you convicted for treason. We can send you linea recta to the coalmines within a month. And we will do so if you don’t cooperate.”
    Geh zum Teufel,” Günschel said. Go to hell.
    “Very well,” Barzel said. He stood up, walked to the door and left the room. Then he ordered the guards to take Günschel back to his cell.


    22 December 1954
    Bremen, Eiffelland

    Koch, Bergsteiger and Gallian had looked into all scientific magazines there were in the library, and hadn’t found any article about a patient with the same signs and symptoms as their patient Weißburg.

    “Well, gentlemen, that was it,” Koch said. “I’m afraid the fate of patient Weißburg has been sealed. The only thing we can do is writing an article about this ourselves, both for the Eiffellandian Journal of Medicine and for the Zeitschrift des Königlichen Eiffelländischen Ärzteverband, and then hope that we get a response.”
    “Will that be on time?” Gallian asked.
    “We have to hope that that will be on time. We will continue to treat the infections Weißburg is suffering from, until we either get a message about a possible cause and a possible cure, or the death of patient Weißburg,” Koch said.


    25 December 1954
    SMS Aachen
    Sea between Nichtstein and Caria

    It never happened that all people slept on a Navy ship. There always had to be someone in the radio room, there always had to be someone controlling the machines, there always had to be someone on the bridge. It never happened that the complete crew enjoyed a meal together. Not even the Christmas breakfast. And it was Prince Ludwig who had a shift during the Christmas breakfast. After his early shift, he enjoyed a late Christmas lunch instead. Now he was standing at the rail, looking out over the sea. When he would use a pair of binoculars, he would be able to see the coast of Caria. But Ludwig didn’t have a pair of binoculars. He wouldn’t use it anyway if he would have had one. He had to think.
    Two weeks ago, he met the officer who would replace Lieutenant Weißburg. The name of the new Lieutenant was Matthias von Luckenwalde, the son of the Count of Luckenwalde. Ludwig and Matthias already knew each other, but they hadn’t seen each other for years. Ludwig and Matthias both attended the Königliches Gymnasium (Grammar School) in Trier. Matthias was eight months younger than Ludwig, and was in the year after Ludwig’s year. But they also knew each other because they were noblemen. In September 1950, at the start of the new school year, it appeared that Matthias had been taken from school by his parents. Later on, Ludwig heard that he had been sent to a boarding school abroad. There could be several reasons for that. The most plausible one was a love affair that the parents didn’t approve.
    Ludwig already had some experience with that. At secondary school, he had a love affair with a son of a diplomat. That love affair lasted for almost a year, but the diplomat found out. He didn’t make a scandal, but handled the situation discretely. He applied for an early transfer, and took his family with him. Officially, he left Eiffelland to become ambassador in another country. Only Ludwig understood why the diplomat had applied for that ambassador’s office in the first place.
    Since then, Ludwig only had a few short love affairs. Now he had the feeling that he was in love again. With Matthias to be precise.

    “Hi.” Ludwig looked left from him. It was Matthias.
    “Hi,” Ludwig greeted back.
    “I heard you at the Christmas mass last night. I had forgotten how great your voice is,” Matthias said.
    “Thank you,” Ludwig said with a smile. Then they talked about the mass, and about music in general.
    At a certain moment, Ludwig asked: “Did you manage to find your way on the ship?”
    “Yes, absolutely,” Matthias said. “The people are great here.”
    “So this will be your ship for the next two years,” Ludwig said.
    “No, not for the next two years. My military service will end in August,” Matthias said.
    “In August? Why that?” Ludwig asked.
    “I went to a boarding school outside Eiffelland, so I obtained my Abitur one year earlier,” Matthias said.
    “Really?” Ludwig asked.
    “Well, I had to do a state exam in Eiffelland immediately after I absolved that boarding school, but I passed it. I started my society service in the same year as you,” Matthias said.
    “Ah, OK, I understand,” Ludwig said. “So you’re gonna start studying together with me.”
    “Yeah, but my student days will look a bit different from yours. I will marry in September,” Matthias said.
    “What?” Ludwig asked.
    “I’m engaged. I will marry in September,” Matthias said. He did his best to sound happy.
    “Well, congratulations,” Ludwig said.
    “Thanks. But how about you? In love? In a relationship? Engaged?” Matthias asked.
    “No. I’m single,” Ludwig said.
    “You? Single? I can’t imagine that. I know, relationships are more about politics and dynasties for you than for me, but it can’t be different that hordes of Princesses are waiting for you,” Matthias said.
    “Maybe,” Ludwig said, “but I haven’t met the right person yet.”
    “Don’t worry, that will happen,” Matthias said.
    “I know,” Ludwig said.


    OOC: Some people may already have noticed it. Actually, Weißburg is suffering from AIDS. This disease became known to the world in 1981, when three groups of physicians reported about an outbreak of this disease in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York from 1977 onwards. At that moment, there was already an AIDS-epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa, but nobody had noticed that. In any case, from the 1980s onwards, people were looking for “patient zero”, the first patient with AIDS ever. Mirko Grmeck mentions in his book “History of AIDS” (published in the first half of the 1990s) that the first traceable patient in the USA died in 1952, and that the first traceable patient in Europe died in 1958. After that, earlier cases were found, and last month I read an article at a Dutch news site that scientists claim that the first AIDS infection ever occurred in Kinshasa in 1920, i.e. SIV (a virus causing AIDS in chimpanzees) mutated to HIV for the first time. Now I presented an early patient in Eurodisney, but this will by far not lead to an AIDS-epidemic as it occurred in the USA during the 1970s. You will have to wait 25 years for that.

    Koch, Bergsteiger and Gallian won’t be able to discover HIV now, simply because they only have one patient. Would they have had 10 or 20 patients in a short period of time, they may have looked for something those patients had in common, and in the end they would have thought of a bacterium or a virus. But they only see one patient with a reduced lymphocyte count. Maybe they are able to see that the T-helper cells are missing—I couldn’t find out when those cells were discovered.
    Koch, Bergsteiger and Gallian will take some lymph node biopts and put them into the liquid nitrogen. Koch will be retired in the 1980s, but Bergsteiger and Gallian will take the biopts out of the liquid nitrogen then, and will find out that Weißburg suffered from AIDS. This is based on a true story, by the way. In 1968, a 15-year-old guy suffering from an enormous immunodeficiency was admitted to hospital. His physicians didn’t know what exactly the guy had. They took lymph node biopts and put them into the liquid nitrogen, because they hoped that they would hear about similar cases later on. In 1984, when AIDS was big news and the first AIDS diagnosis kits were available, those physicians took those lymph node biopts out of the liquid nitrogen, and pulled them through an AIDS test. And indeed, that 15-year-old guy (who died in 1969) turned out to have had AIDS.

    Mycobacterium avium is a sibling of the bacterium causing Tuberculosis. You can find it everywhere, but it usually does not make humans ill, unless the immune system is in trouble.

    The assistants are called Lucas Bergsteiger and Robert Gallian to honour Luc Montagnier and his team, as well as Robert Gallo and his team (the people who discovered HIV).
     
  9. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    10,111
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    New Year’s Eve 1954/1955
    Rabenau

    The radio stations in Eiffelland were broadcasting the sound of a large ticking clock, the clock that ticked the last seconds of the last minute of 1954 away. Then, at 00:00, the gong of the clock sounded twelve times. Eiffelland toasted on the new year, with champaign from Bourgogne. Soon after that, the fireworks started. The larger cities had organised their own fireworks shows. Trier, by far the largest city of Eiffelland, both in number of inhabitants and in area, had even organised several ones spread over the city. Also Rabenau had organised a fireworks show.
    But Kriminalkommissar Weber wasn’t enjoying it. He toasted with his family, but he was still thinking about the case of Gregor von Stolzenau and Willy Maier. Both boys had been identified and buried, but some questions had still not been answered. The car wreck showed signs of a collision. That collision could have been the reason why Gregor and Willy got into the water. Was it an accident, or was it an assault? Weber didn’t get the opportunity to find this out, because the case went to the SKA (Staatskriminalamt). The SKA concluded quickly (a bit too quickly according to Weber) that Gregor lost control over the car, after which it slided into the water. There was no evidence of a crime according to the SKA, so the case was closed. Weber saw the SKA-report, but the loose ends he had mentioned had all been ignored.
    There were several reasons why the PKA (Provinzkriminalamt) or even the SKA would take over a case. One of them was that a case had become too complex to handle by a local crime department, or that provincial or national interests were involved. Another one was that a case had to be hushed up. According to Weber, this definitely looked like a hush-up. First of all, why was the death of two teenagers so important that the SKA had to take over? But more importantly, why were the loose ends mentioned by Weber not investigated? There were still some left. The Stolzenaus never told the police that Gregor had been expelled from school, not in 1942, and not now. It was the school that told it. Weber realised very well that Gregor von Stolzenau had caused a scandal, and that the Stolzenaus wanted to cover that up. But Gregor was dead. He died in a car accident with his lover, and there were indications that that car accident could have been more than an accident. Weber had to admit that those indications weren’t very strong, but even if they were weaker than they actually were, they had to be investigated more thorougly than the SKA had done according to him. There was a certain smell coming from this case. But Weber couldn’t investigate it any more. He didn’t have the time any more. Suddenly a lot of work had been assigned to him, and that could be interpreted as a sign that somebody wanted to keep him off the Gregor von Stolzenau case. Weber could not start his own investigation, unless he would neglect one of his other cases. It wasn’t difficult to deduce to what that would lead.


    5 January 1955
    Bremen, Eiffelland
    02:00 a.m.

    “Wake up Günschel,” the guard shouted while shaking Günschel’s shoulder.
    “Huh, what?” Günschel said in a sleepy way.
    “Wake up. Get up,” the guard said.
    “My goodness, how late is it?” Günschel asked.
    “That doesn’t matter. Get up,” the guard said.
    “And what if I don’t?” Günschel asked.
    “You don’t want to know,” the guard said.
    Du kannst mich mal, ich bleib’ liegen,” Günschel said, laid down again, and turned his face to the wall. Get lost, I stay in bed.
    The guard took his baton and hit Günschel in the back.
    “I said: Get up,” he said.
    Günschel got up, and butted his head against the guard’s nose, who collapsed on the floor with a broken nose. Immediately after that, six other guards rushed into Günschel’s cell. The fight ended with two other guards lying on the floor whimpering, Günschel lying on the floor as well, and the four remaining guards sitting on Günschel’s limbs. Then a physician walked in with a syringe and injected an anaesthetic into one of Günschel’s veins.


    06:00 a.m.

    When Günschel woke up, he noticed that he was tied up against a chair. A man was sitting in front of him.
    “I’m awfully sorry, but you are the only one to blame for this. If you would have behaved a bit nicer, we wouldn’t have tied you to this chair,” the man said.
    “Who the fuck are you?” Günschel asked.
    “That isn’t important,” the man said. “We will just wait for Barzel. H’ll be here in a couple of hours.”
    “So you’re gonna torture me. I thought Eiffelland was a democracy,” Günschel said.
    “I know why you think that we are going to torture you. The GEL uses exactly this kind of chair to torture immigrants and gays when Meißner or another hot shot in your organisation needs his shot of sadist pleasure. At least until three years ago. Must be hard to the hotshots in the GEL that they cannot torture any gays and immigrants to death any more. How do they get their sadist pleasures now? Anyway, we’re not gonna torture you. Eiffelland is indeed a democracy. What we are doing, is completely legal. The Law doesn’t stipulate when we are not allowed to interrogate you,” the man said.
    “So this is an interrogation,” Günschel said.
    “Indeed, this is an interrogation,” the man said. “You will stay in that chair until we know what we want to know.”
    “And what if I shit my pants full?” Günschel asked.
    “Ever heard of gas masks? We have ones with extra oxygen supply,” the man said. “The only one who will suffer if you shit your pants full will be you.”
    “There is no charge against me. You just had me sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for high treason. There is no charge left. The case is closed. You’re not allowed to interrogate me,” Günschel said.
    “The law is a bit different in the case of treason. We are allowed to interrogate you even after the case was officially closed, simply because the safety of the country is at stake. We would have put you in a more comfortable chair if you would not have attacked the guards though,” the man said. “But now let’s wait for Barzel.”
     
  10. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    10,111
    Location:
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    Capital:
    Trier
    7 January 1955
    Bremen, Eiffelland

    It wasn’t torture what was applied to Günschel, at least not according to the Eiffellandian law. But it wasn’t an interrogation technique used in a normal police investigation, either. Jurisprudence anno 1955 already considered confessions and statements taken after sleep deprivation invalid in trials before court. Not without reason according to Barzel. He knew that people will tell everything they think their interrogators will want to hear when they are tortured or subjected to sleep deprivation. Even innocent people will confess everything then, so that he will end behind bars while the culprit still walks around. That is not what a good policeman wants to see.
    However, when it is 100% clear that the person subjected to sleep deprivation was guilty, the situation was different. Then the information he gave could be valid. Not before court, but at least you had a clue where to look.
    It was a team of twelve people that interrogated Günschel. Teams of two men worked in four‑hour shifts. They interrogated Günschel and kept him awake for 60 hours. In the end, he blabbed, and told who gave him the orders. It wasn’t much he knew, but it became clear that it was the GEL that had ordered to obtain the Navy communication codes. He also described the man he received his orders from in enough detail. Barzel was satisfied.

    “It wasn’t much he could tell, but he has told everything he knew,” Barzel told Sepp Gomulka, his superior, over the phone.
    “Good work, Barzel,” Gomulka said. “I will see if our informants in the GEL can find something. At least we have a description of the man who gave the orders to Günschel. Maybe that leads to more.”
    “Thank you, Gomulka,” Barzel said. “What are we going to do with Günschel now?”
    “You’re sure that you got everything he knows out of him?” Gomulka asked.
    “Yes, I am,” Barzel said.
    “Then send him to the coal mines,” Gomulka said. “He was condemned to go there anyway, so he should be happy that he has to spend one month less there.”


    9 January 1955
    Trier, Eiffelland

    Chancellor Von Seydewitz wanted to see the report on his desk as soon as possible, so Barzel had started typing immediately. He didn’t want to have this typed by one of the typists. The result was a report of ten A4-pages. It was put on microfilm and Photostat-copied already in Bremen. Then the original was sent to the Staatsschutz archive in Trier by courier. The Staatsschutz archive also made several Photostat copies of it, of which one landed on the desk of Minister for Internal Affairs Markus Möller, one on the desk of Minister for Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chancellor Rudolph Kögler and one on the desk of Chancellor Matthias Von Seydewitz.

    Von Seydewitz returned to his office from his weekly press conference. He had ordered Staatshauptdirektor des Staatsschutzes Heinz-Karl Farnbach to come to the Chancellery. The Ministers for Internal and Foreign Affairs would also be there. This was a serious matter, and Von Seydewitz had already taken his decision. It had been difficult to him to hide his anger before the journalists. He hoped that he had managed to do so.
    Farnbach arrived on time. He was shown in by a guard. The chancellor offered him a cup of coffee and a glass fruit juice. A few minutes later, the Ministers for Internal and Foreign Affairs arrived. Also they were offered coffee and fruit juice. The last guest arrived after them: Großadmiral Alfred Rötschke, who was offered coffee and fruit juice as well. No alcohol on duty, and this meeting was certainly duty.
    The Chancellor opened the meeting: “Well, gentlemen, you all know why you are here. Because of this GEL-man trying to steal the Navy communication codes. My question is: Why wasn’t it known that this man belonged to the GEL? I am not going to accuse anybody of anything, but maybe it is needed to change some procedures. A member of the GEL managed to get close to one of the Princes, and I consider that a large problem. So we need to know what happened.”
    “I can tell you that this Günschel wasn’t known to the Staatsschutz, Herr Kanzler,” Farnbach said. “There is no file with his name on it. We are currently checking all our GEL-files to find out if he was mentioned anywhere, but that is not something we can do for every person applying for a job at the Armed Forces. We can only do so for the higher officers. This even applies to the Königlicher Garde.”
    “Could you tell me how you organise your files?” Von Seydewitz asked.
    “Well, we have two different file systems: One for individual persons, and one for organisations. The GEL has a file, or better said a part of the archive, but all individuals known as being a member of the GEL or even sympathising with the GEL have an individual file as well. Of course this also applies to the KPE and organisations linked to the KPE,” Farnbach said. “The disadvantage of this system is that somebody can possibly overlooked when his name is mentioned only once in a document, so that no personal file is created for him. Maybe that happened to Günschel. We are investigating that now.”
    “And we at the Navy only know what the Staatsschutz tells us about people applying for a job or who are about to be promoted,” Großadmiral Rötschke said.
    “I understand,” the Chancellor said. “Farnbach, I can remember that we discussed this problem some months ago. You told then that you had formed a task force to investigate the possibilities of a computer for your archive. Can you tell me more about that?”
    The advantage would be, that we would be able to search the archive a lot faster. In that case, we would be able to not only investigate potential colonels, but also potential Captains. I also talked about it with an acquaintance of mine working for Nichsdorf. They are working on a supercomputer based on a design by the mathematics department of the Freie Universität Trier. But it is a different kind of supercomputers than the one we know. It doesn’t require much maintenance and can even continue to run while being maintained. They even expect it to allow multiple persons working on it simultaneously within 10 years.”
    “But that feature is not something we can use now, I’m afraid,” the Chancellor smirked. “Please give me a report about it, and I will bring it in on the next Cabinet Meeting. But if the GEL suddenly wants to obtain top secret information, we have a problem.”
    “What do you mean, Herr Kanzler?” the Minister for Internal Affairs said. The ministers usually said “du” instead of the formal “Sie” to each other, but only if they were among themselves.
    “I mean that the GEL crossed a crucial line,” Von Seydewitz said. He was known for his hatred towards extremism. Although not his cup of tea, he was benevolent towards Socialism and Prometheism, but he hated Communism. And he also hated the extremist nationalism of the Volksunion and the Gotisch-Eiffelländische Liga (GEL). He managed to hide that hatred in front of representants of Communist and ultranationalist countries, but he would never become friends with representants of Újország. It was in line with this hatred that he said: “Von mir aus ist es jetzt Krieg.If it is up to me, it is war.
    Everybody remained silent.
    “Herr Farnbach,” Von Seydewitz said with a grim tone in his voice, “verhaften Sie so viel GEL-Mitglieder wie möglich. Und wenn die Kohlebergbaus von neuen Arbeitskräften überspült werden.Arrest as many GEL-members as possible. Even if the coal mines are flooded with the additional work force.


    Mehdau

    A black Mercedes drove to one of the farms in the valley near Mehdau. Duke Gregor von Stolzenau was sitting at the wheel. He was in a bad mood. Two months ago, he had been informed about Günschel’s arrestment. Shortly before, the GEL had lost its spies in the Staatsschutz. A car accident, a referral to an uninteresting position abroad, a retirement and a heart attack had done an efficient job. It took the GEL a month to get a contact in the Staatsschutz again, and after that an additional month to find out why Günschel had been arrested: For trying to obtain the secret Navy communication codes.
    Von Stolzenau exploded for anger when he heard about it. What in Heaven’s name were they thinking in the GEL? Only foreign powers would be interested in that information, and selling it would severely harm Eiffelland. Maybe it could be sold to a nation sharing the ideas of the GEL, but there were no such nations with an effective Navy. Now the attention had been drawn to the GEL again, exactly at the moment that Operation Löwenjunge would start. It was clear that Von Stolzenau would have to wait with it.
    Von Solzenau drove through the main port of the farm and parked his car next to some other cars. Then he walked to the front door of the living quarters. The farmer led him in.
    “Good evening, Your Highness,” the farmer said. “We are all prepared. Meißner is there, as well as Görlitzer. We have already prepared him.”
    “Good to hear,” the Duke said. Then he followed the farmer to the basement.

    Meißner, the leader of the GEL, was standing in the room, with an enormous whip. Görlitzer was lying on his belly on a large table. He had been flogged in such a way that there wasn’t any skin left on his back and the back musles were visible. He was the man described by Günschel as the one who had given the orders.
    “Good evening, Your Highness. He is ready for your questions, and I kept his mouth intact so that he can answer your questions,” Meißner said with an enormous grin on his face showing how he had enjoyed to pass on a flogging. He was known for his sadism, but every time again Von Stolzenau was surprised. He took a chair and seated himself in front of Görlitzer’s face. He started his interrogation.
    “OK, Görlitzer, whom were you working for?” he asked.
    “Nobody. Just for myself,” Görlitzer answered with a grating voice.
    “Just for yourself? Normally, when you steal something like that, you make sure that you already have somebody who is interested,” Von Stolzenau said.
    “I just worked for myself,” Görlitzer grated again. Von Stolzenau gave a signal to Meißner, who hit Görlitzer again with his whip.
    “Did you really work for yourself?” Von Stolzenau asked.
    “Yes, but I worked with Günschel und Mackens. Günschel was blackmailing that officer for the codes, and Mackens would take care of finding a buyer,” Görlitzer grated.
    “And was Mackens successful?” Von Stolzenau asked.
    “I don’t know,” Görlitzer grated. Von Stolzenau signalled Meißner again to give another hit with his whip. Görlitzer screamed: “No, I really don’t know!”
    “Mackens,” Von Stolzenau said, thinking. Then he screamed: “What in Heaven’s name were you thinking? Do you know how much damage this can inflict to the GEL? What you did is high-treason! How do you think the Staatsschutz will react? They’re gonna roll up the complete organisation for this! Idiot!”
    Görlitzer remained silent. His motive was money, nothing more. But he didn’t dare to say that.
    Von Stolzenau took his 9mm gun, pointed at Görlitzer’s knee, and fired. Then he pointed at Görlitzer’s other knee, and fired again. Then he ordered Meißner to turn Görlitzer on his back. Now he pointed at Görlitzer’s stomach and shot again, making sure that Görlitzer would die a slow and painful death while the acids of his stomach and the digestive enzymes of his pancreas etched his belly organs away.
    “To which extent do you still control the GEL if idiots like this guy are able to perform this kind of reckless actions on their own initiative?” Von Stolzenau asked Meißner. Then he said to him and the farmer: “Come. We will check later if he is dead.”
     
  11. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
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    Trier
    25 March 1955
    Lübeck, Eiffelland

    Prince Ludwig was in love. With the communications officer of the SMS Aachen, Matthias von Luckenwalde. He knew that Matthias would marry in September, but still he was in love. It was easy to him to control what he showed of himself to the outside world, but controlling what he really felt was impossible. He often said to himself: “Mensch, Ludwig, the guy is straight, he is going to marry, you are not going to get him.” But that didn’t help. He remained in love.
    That was the reason for him to request that the last six months of his society service be converted from civil service to extended military service. That request had been honoured. He continued to serve on the Aachen.

    The Aachen had moored in the Navy harbour of Lübeck to bunker. It would stay in Aachen for a couple of days. The crew enjoyed some days off and went out in Lübeck. Also Ludwig and Matthias von Luckenwalde went out. They would go to the dance halls, together with the others. Ludwig felt happy and sad at the same moment. Happy because he would go out with Matthias. And sad because of that little voice in the back of his head that told him that Matthias was straight and would marry in September. But was Matthias really happy with his marriage? Ludwig had his doubts about that. Or was it just wishful thinking? He didn’t know, but one way or another he still hoped that Matthias would end up in his arms.

    It was six o’ clock in the evening. There were some clouds in the sky, but the sun was shining. It was about 16 degrees celsius, which was a normal temperature in Lübeck by the end of March. Ludwig and Matthias were standing on the quai, when they heard the voice of a woman calling Matthias. It was Ophelia von Stolzenau, Matthias’s fiancée, the daughter of the Duke of Stolzenau.
    “Ophelia! You’re here?!” Matthias said surprised. His fiancée had traveled to Lübeck in her two-seater Karmann‑Ghia. So that is his fiancée, Ludwig thought while looking at Matthias running to her, taking her in his arms and turning a few loops with her.
    “How did you know that my ship would moor here today?” he asked enthousiasticly.
    At that moment, Ludwig realised that Matthias had never told the name of his fiancée. He always referred to her as “her fiancée”, but never used her real name. And that despite the fact that they both knew her. There were quite some noble families in Eiffelland, but the Countal and Ducal families all knew each other, and knew the Royal Family. Hoewever, Ludwig didn’t know that Matthias’s fiancée was Ophelia von Stolzenau. Maybe he had heard that news once, but then he had forgotten about it when he met Matthias at the Aachen. In any case, he had never asked Matthias about her. And Matthias hardly talked about her.
    Ludwig couldn’t imagine that this was love. He knew Ophelia von Stolzenau as an arrogant, manipulative and selfish woman. She was possibly intelligent, but knew nothing and was interested in nothing but jewels, make-up, clothes and gossip. It was impossible to have an interesting conversation with her. At the age of 28, Ophelia was de facto an unmarriable woman, a leftover for the talented young man from a lower class who could use a good marriage to get up higher in the social pyramid, or for a young nobleman who was involved in a scandal and whose reputation had to be restored quickly. However, Matthias and Ophelia behaved as if it was love. Just for show, or was it real? In any case, it saddened Ludwig.
    “Ludwig and I planned to go out tonight. Do you want to join us?” Matthias asked Ophelia.
    “But of course, but first I want to have some moments with you alone. I haven’t seen you for three months, you know. I know a very good restaurant here in Lübeck,” Ophelia said.
    “Good idea, Ophelia,” Matthias said. “Ludwig, let’s meet in Club Francke at eight, OK?”
    Ludwig remained silent for a moment, realising that he would have to dine alone, without Matthias. Then he said softly: “OK.”

    Ludwig stood still at the quai, watching how Matthias and Ophelia walked to Ophelia’s two‑seater, stepped into the car and drove away. Then he started to cry. So that was it, he thought. Matthias and Ophelia were together, and would probablly spend the night together as well. And Ludwig was alone. His first idea was not to go to Club Francke but somewhere else. He didn’t want to see Matthias dancing with Ophelia. Why going out if he wouldn’t enjoy it? He could even go to a different city if he wanted to. His Borschel 356 reached 200 km/h; he could be in Weissenfels in 90 minutes. Or he could go to Lörrach; also 90 minutes. Maybe that was even a better idea. Weissenfels had become the standard city where the children of Eiffelland’s elite went to study, so there Ludwig would probably meet quite a lot of people he knew, and he wanted to avoid having to continuously explain why he was in Weissenfels while his . So he decided to drive to Lörrach. He turned around and walked the ten minutes walk to the warehouse where his car was stored.

    “It is 7 o’ clock. This is the evening news,” sounded from the car radio. The sun had set a quarter of an hour ago. It was already getting dark. Ludwig was driving over the main road from Lübeck to Lörrach. This road hadn’t been turned into a motorway yet, but there were plans to do so. Not without reason according to Ludwig – the road was quite busy. Luckily, some of the crossings were already two‑level. It shouldn’t be that difficult to build bridges next to the existing ones.
    Matthias and Ophelia. What on earth had happened to bring those two together? Ophelia was seven years older than Matthias. That alone shouldn’t be a problem – sometimes people’s characters were younger than their calendar ages, or older. And then an age gap would not be a problem, not even if the woman was older. But Ophelia’s character was definitely not younger than her calendar age. She was already a woman. And Matthias was a typical first‑year student. How could that go together well? Did Matthias look for a mother figure? But then why Ophelia? Motherly feelings were completely absent in that women. Ludwig already felt pity for the children yet to be born from that marriage. Was it the sex then? OK, Matthias was gorgeous, but Ophelia was not really an attractive woman. Actually, she needed the jewels, make-up, nail polish and expensive dresses to make herself at least a bit presentable – those were the words of Ludwig’s brother Johann, not Ludwig’s own words. But now Ludwig was eager to repeat them. Matthias didn’t have much to win with that respect.
    Then was it an arranged marriage after all? But Matthias seemed very happy to see Ophelia. Or was that show? All odds were against a love-marriage. How on earth did Ophelia persuade Matthias? What had happened to bring about this engagement of doom? Ludwig couldn’t imagine that this marriage would work. Not with Ophelia, the woman Ludwig had started to hate.
    And now he was driving to Lörrach, to be alone with his thoughts. He didn’t want to see Matthias dancing with Ophelia. He could have gone to Weissenfels, a city he knew more or less. But it became Lörrach, a city he hardly knew, because he wanted to avoid questions in Weissenfels. But now he started to ask himself if that was really such a good idea. He would have to answer an enormous lot of questions from his mates from the Aachen. And questions was what he wanted to avoid. He had to watch Matthias dancing with Ophelia. At the first crossing he approached, he turned and drove back to Lübeck.

    He arrived at Club Francke on time. He hadn’t eaten a thing, but he wasn’t hungry at all. His stomach and oesophagus constricted even at the thought of food.

    “Why are you so silent, Ludwig?” Ophelia asked. “I know that you inherited the flegmatism from your father, but normally you talk more than you do now. Are you thinking of something?”
    “No, not really,” Ludwig said.
    “Are you sad about something?” Ophelia asked.
    “Why would I be sad?” Ludwig asked back.
    “I don’t know. I am asking you,” Ophelia said.
    “I’m not sad,” Ludwig said.
    “Hhmmm. There may be an important lesson of life that you have missed,” Ophelia said with a tone in her voice that clearly indicated “now you listen carefully young boy”. “I saw that you didn’t like it when we left you alone at the quai, but you have to accept that Matthias is entering a period in which his friends will become less important. He is about to ground a family, so his friends will come at second place. I am at first place now.”
    Ludwig remained silent.
    “Maybe you feel lonely now, but there is no reason for you to feel lonely. Believe me, the princesses and daughters of noblemen are queing up for you to ground a family with you,” Ophelia said arrogantly. “You only have to snap your fingers and you can call a wife your own. Like Matthias is mine.” At that moment, Matthias came back, and Ophelia demonstratively wrapped herself around him.

    Ludwig decided to sneak out of the dance hall.

    Club Francke was situated in the city centre, at the boulevard along the river Rhein. Ludwig was standing outside, asking himself what to do. Driving immediately back to the harbour, or going somewhere else? Then he burst out in tears. Ophelia! That arrogant bitch had noticed something about Ludwig’s feelings for Matthias, and now she extensively used the opportunity to hurt him. Verdammte Scheisse. Ludwig looked around, and saw that he had parked his car in front of a Karmann Ghia. Ophelia’s Karmann Ghia. It couldn’t be anyone else’s car, because it was the only Karmann Ghia he saw. He hadn’t noticed that when he parked four hours ago. Exactly in the front of her car. What a night. He decided to take his car and drive immediately back to the harbour.

    Two hours later, Matthias arrived at the Aachen. When he was standing at the gangway, he saw somebody standing at the rail. It was Ludwig. He rushed to him, embraced him and kissed him. Ludwig, who was fully unprepared, frightened up and pushed him away.
    “Matthias, was machst du?!” he asked frightened. What are you doing?!
    Wie sieht’s aus?” Matthias replied with an angry tone in his voice. How does it look like?
    Ludwig looked completely baffled at Matthias and couldn’t say anything.
    “Ludwig, I don’t want that manipulative bitch who is only interested in her jewels and her nail polish. No matter how thoroughly she washes herself, and no matter how much perfume she wears, I still smell her body odour, and it disgusts me. But my family forces me to marry her,” Matthias said with an angry tone in his voice.
    So this marriage was arranged! Ludwig thought.
    “Do you know why I was sent to that boarding school abroad?” Matthias asked. “Because my mother caught me with Armin, the son of the gardener.”
    Ludwig wasn’t surprised to hear that Matthias had been sent abroad because of a love affair, but the fact that it was a love-affair with a guy was unexpected. Many of his gay friends could sense whether a guy was gay or not, but Ludwig could not. As a result, he was often taken by surprise. For instance now.
    “So I was sent to that boarding school, and the gardener was fired,” Matthias said. “He immediately renounced Armin and kicked him out.”
    Ludwig remained silent.
    “And then he was hit by a truck,” Matthias said. “On the same day that he was kicked out of the house, he was hit by a truck and died. He didn’t even get a proper burial.”
    Ach du Lieber,” Ludwig said. “Poor lad.” He put his arm around Matthias’s shoulders. Matthias started to cry. A few moments later, Ludwig started to cry as well.
    When Matthias noticed that, he asked: “But why are you crying?”
    “Do you realise how much it hurt me to see you with Ophelia?” Ludwig asked.
    “Ludwig, I don’t want her. I want you,” Matthias said. Then he embraced Ludwig again and kissed him. This time Ludwig wrapped his arms around Matthias and answered the kiss.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  12. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    26 June 1955
    Weissenfels, Eiffelland

    “The first step into student life has been set,” Lothar, the grandson of the Prince of the Harz, Prince Ludwig’s second-degree cousin, said. “One month of service to our beloved country to go, and then five years of Wein, Weiber und Gesang. To student life.” And he raised his half‑litre glass of beer for a toast. There were about twenty sons of noblemen sitting on the terrace of a café in Weissenfels on a sunny and cloudless day with 32 degrees Celsius. They all just had enrolled themselves to the University of Weissenfels. Ludwig and Matthias were among them. Ludwig had enrolled for law and art history, Matthias for physics.
    The title Prince of the Harz was always given to the eldest brother of the King, but only after the previous Prince passed away. The rules of succession to the Throne of Eiffelland were such, that the side branch closest to the main branch, i.e. the youngest side branch, would be eligible for succession when the main branch died out. Philipp IV deviated from that rule by making the son of his daughter his son’s successor in the case that his son Lothar VII would die without children. That was a controversial move in those days. The descendant of the second son of King Karl V of Eiffelland was passed in favour of the son of the sister of the King!
    Most Eiffellandian noblemen were not willing to acknowledge the deceased King’s will and wanted to put the descendant of King Karl on the throne. Only the people in charge of the armed forces had different thoughts. Indeed, the descendant of King Karl had more rights to the throne, but he was a notorious dumb head who spent more time in the casinos, wine houses, clubs and brothels of Bad Hersfeld than at his properties, where he had to manage his tenants. This in contrast to the Duke of Sauerland, who was a righteous and intelligent young man. In the years before, the generals of the army of Eiffelland had the opportunity to get to know this man when the Kingdom of Eiffelland and the Duchy of Sauerland intervened together in the civil war in the at that time independent duchy of Emsland.
    The generals of the army, noblemen themselves, understood very well why the late King Lothar wanted him on the Throne instead of the descendant of King Karl. They convinced the Archbishop of Köln, who was responsible for crowning the King at that time, to take up a neutral stance in the matter, collected the support of the armed forces of both Eiffelland and Sauerland, and made clear to the rest of the Eiffellandian noblemen that the descendant of King Karl would continue to spend his family fortune with partying in Bad Hersfeld, and that the Duke of Sauerland would become the King of Eiffelland. The fact that the Duke was also a descendant of an Eiffellandian King in male lineage made it somewhat easier to swallow to the Eiffellandian nobles. The descendant of King Karl died of syphilis ten years later, leaving his wife and four children behind in poverty. Nobody knew what happened to them. Apart from the archives, that is, but nobody cared to check the archives.

    The current Prince of the Harz was Prince Ludwig’s granduncle Leopold, the brother of Emeritus-King Heinrich. The next Prince of the Harz would have become King Albrecht’s brother Philipp, but he died 30 years ago in what was officially considered a car accident. This would mean that there would be no Prince of the Harz after Ludwig’s granduncle would pass way, until Ludwig’s brother would accede to the Throne.
    The Prince of the Harz had several grandchildren. Two of them, Lothar and Caroline, twins and descendants in male lineage of the Eiffellandian Kings, would start studying in Weissenfels this year as well. They had something in common with Ludwig: Both had blonde hair and sapphire-blue eyes. Moreover, both were intelligent. Lothar would study economics, Caroline French. Like for most noble girls who went to university, her goal was more to find a husband than to graduate. Caroline was not as expressive as his brother. She was more something like a sweet little girl. She paid a lot of attention to her looks, and had obtained the Abitur with the best notes of her year. A typical case of beauty and brains, and on top of that a nice character.

    Weissenfels was the city where traditionally all the descendants of noble families went to study, but the noble families did not all live near Weissenfels. Most of them lived spread across the country. Most people had stayed in a hotel the night before. After having spent some hours at the terrace, everybody went to their hotels to collect their luggage, and then either went home or went to the place where they served their military civil duties. Also Ludwig and Matthias. Ludwig had slept in the Royal Apartment of the Weissenfelser Stadtschloss. Matthias had taken a hotel room. Ludwig had spent the first part of the night there as well, but he had left around 2 a.m. And all that to cover up their love affair. They had never had the opportunity to really spend the night together; everything had to happen in hiding. They even didn’t dare to give each other a kiss in Ludwig’s car.
    Ludwig had already packed his luggage into his car, but Matthias’s luggage was still at his hotel. Matthias would drive to Lübeck together with Ludwig, where they would be flown back to the Aachen in a helicopter. Now they were driving to the hotel to get Matthias’s luggage, and then they would go to Lübeck.
    But at the hotel, there was a surprise for Matthias. “Good evening, Herr von Luckenwalde, there is somebody waiting for you,” the receptionist said.
    “Waiting for me?” Matthias said.
    “Yes, Sir. He is waiting for you in the lobby,” the receptionist said.
    Ludwig and Matthias both went to the lobby. There they found Matthias’s father. They both stood petrified. Six weeks ago, Matthias had broken up his engagement in a large letter to Ophelia, explaining to her that the love to her had died: “Apparently our parents were wrong when they thought that our relationship would work for us. Unfortunately it didn’t.” He had also sent a letter to his parents to explain this move. No reply was sent. He hadn’t heard anything from his parents, or from Ophelia. And that while the mail was delivered normally to his ship. From the end of March until now, he had never been off the ship, so he hadn’t been able to meet anybody from his family. And now his father was here. What did this mean? What was so important that his father couldn’t tell in a letter? Or did he find out about Matthias’s love affair with Ludwig?
    “Good evening, father,” Matthias said with a scared tone in his voice.
    “Good evening, Matthias,” the Count of Luckenwalde replied. “Could you please come with me? I have to talk to you. In private.” Then he saw Ludwig.
    “Good evening, Your Highness,” he said. “My son and I have something important to discuss. Would you mind?”
    “No, not at all, Sir,” Ludwig said neutrally. He thought the same as Matthias, and he was as scared about the current situation as Matthias. However, he mastered himself better than Matthias. After the first sign of shock, he had himself under control again.
    “Father, we won’t have much time. We have to go back to the ship,” Matthias said.
    “It won’t take much time, Matthias. Don’t worry,” his father said.

    The Count of Luckenwalde took his son to a meeting room. Prince Ludwig stayed behind in the lobby. When a waiter approached him, he ordered a coffee and a still mineral water. Then he took a newspaper and seated himself at the same table as Matthias’s father had seated himself earlier. But he didn’t read a single character, not even about the Long Sea Crisis, although that could possibly affect himself in the case of an escalation. He kept thinking about the fact that suddenly Matthias’s father had shown up here. Why? It couldn’t mean anything good. Ludwig knew that Matthias had ended the engagement with Ophelia von Stolzenau. In a letter, not personally. That alone was enormously rude. But Ludwig could understand Matthias’s rationale behind it. He wouldn’t get on shore before today, and when he ended the engagement already in April, there was enough time to end the preparations for the marriage and cancel things like the church and the party. That was a good reason to end the engagement by letter.
    However, that didn’t stop problem 2 from emerging. This marriage had been arranged to hush up a scandal. Now this hush-up operation had turned into a scandal on its own. OK, Ophelia was the worst woman Matthias’s father could have chosen, but nevertheless. She was the daughter of a Duke, and with that she was lordly. Matthias was only noble. He would have married above his social position. In fact, he should have considered it an honour that he was allowed to marry Ophelia, despite her terrible character. That made the scandal even worse, even given the fact that the Von Stolzenau family should also be glad that there was a marriage candidate for Ophelia.

    An hour later, Matthias entered the lobby, with his luggage. Ludwig stood up and walked to Matthias. One glance at Matthias’s face was enough to tell Ludwig that Matthias was in trouble.
    “Let’s discuss in the car,” Matthias said quickly.
    Ludwig and Matthias walked to Ludwig’s Borschel 356 and stepped in after Matthias’s luggage had been put at the back seat. Ludwig started the engine and drove away.

    As soon as they were on the motorway to Lübeck, Matthias started to talk.
    “Believe it or not, the marriage has not been cancelled,” he said. “My father ordered me to send a letter of excuse to Ophelia and her parents, and then they will consider my letter to end the engagement as not having been sent.”
    “And what happens if you don’t?” Ludwig asked.
    “He didn’t tell, but he gave me a serious warning to write that letter,” Matthias said. “He said: ‘You don’t want to know what happens if you don’t.’”
    Ludwig remained silent. He knew the conventions noblemen imposed upon each other. He also knew that they both violated those laws in the past, and that they were violating them again now. That remained without consequences for Ludwig, but his family was less conservative than many other noble families. That was something a Royal Family could afford, luckily.
    After a few moments, he started to talk. “In some ways we are privileged as noblemen. We are backed by large fortunes. We can afford the fastest sports cars, the nicest clothes, the best wines, the best foods, we don’t have to bother about spending 1000 Marks during a night out, we can even spend 50,000 Marks on a holiday without blinking.”
    “Well, I can’t afford that holiday of yours, and that sports car won’t become a Borschel or a Raimer. But for the remainder you’re right. We have a luxury life. But that comes at a price. We have to fulfil so many expectations. First of all, we have to marry and ground a family. Only then you are respected. It doesn’t matter if you hate your wife but had to marry her for dynastic reasons, as long as you show your hatred only behind the scenes. It is so much about keeping up appearances. You have to show in public that your marriage is perfect, and that your children are doing perfectly. If you don’t fit in that perfect picture as a nobleman, nobledom will expel you,” Matthias said. “Never heard how many older noblewomen have ‘that son they prefer not to talk about’?”
    “You’re completely right,” Ludwig giggled. He had heard that phrase several times, and he knew about that from the first hand. His grandparents never talked about their second son, Prince Philipp. He perfectly knew why. He had read Philipp’s diaries. His parents did talk about Philipp, but only in private, and only when his grandparents weren’t there. Only Ludwig, his parents and his grandparents knew that Philipp’s death was a suicide.

    “But what are you going to do now?” Ludwig asked. They had been driving in silence for an hour. Both had been thinking about this new situation.
    “I don’t know,” Matthias said. “I have several options. I could marry Ophelia and live a secret second life with you. And as soon as I have my Magister, I get a divorce and move in with you. But the idea of having to sleep with Ophelia is so disgusting that I seriously doubt whether I can pull that through. Furthermore, what if I get children with her?”
    “I wouldn’t mind helping you raise them,” Ludwig joked.
    “I think Ophelia will find a way to keep those children far from the two of us,” Matthias said. “And apart from that, two gays raising children together? No judge in this country will ever let that happen, let alone the youth welfare office.”
    Both remained silent for a minute.
    “No, I can’t confront any possible children with such a situation,” Matthias said.
    “But then …” Ludwig started.
    “Don’t worry,” Matthias said while putting his hand on Ludwig’s leg. “I won’t leave you. My parents will probably stop my allowance and disinherit me, but I’m not going to marry Ophelia.”
     
  13. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
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    Trier
    18 July 1955
    Stolzenau, Eiffelland

    A Burgundian-made DS with Nichtsteiner licence plates drove to the castle of the Stolzenau family. It was the car of jeweller Schleifer, with some beautiful necklaces and rings for the Duke’s wife and daughter. Indeed, the preparations for the marriage continued as if the engagement had never been broken. Nobody apart from the people immediately involved knew about Matthias’s letter. But that was not the only secret in the Stolzenau Castle. The purchase of the jewels was also a cover-up for something not even the Duke’s family knew about.
    Schleifer was led into the Duke’s office, where the Duke welcomed him. Earlier this year, this room was renovated so that any talkings inside could not be overheard from outside. Maybe with radio techniques, but then somebody had to bring in a microphone with a radio sender or a recording device. He ordered the butler to bring a bottle of white wine and two glasses. Then the two men sat down. After the butler had brought the wine and the glasses, Schleifer showed what he had made for the Duke’s wife and daughter.
    “Your work is perfect, Your Majesty,” the Duke said. “My wife and daughter will steal the show at the wedding. Thank you.” And he handed a check over 50,000 Mark to Schleifer.
    “Thank you, Your Highness,” Schleiffer said.

    During the six months after Schleifer visited the Duke for the first time, Von Stolzenau had verified the validity of all the birth and wedding certificates that documented that Schleifer was the son of King Lothar. They were all real. The Duke also had all the certificates compared with the population registers as well as all clerical registers in Eiffelland and Nichtstein. There was a complete match between all the certificates and all those registers. The certificates were not only real, but also backed by official population registers as well as clerical registers. Schleifer was indeed Lothar’s descendant. Therefore, the Duke had decided to call Schleifer “Your Majesty” in private, to indicate that he considered him the rightful King of Eiffelland.
    Von Stolzenau had already developed his own plans though. Those plans did not foresee the coronation of Schleifer as King of Eiffelland, at least not as an absolute monarch, but Schleifer’s claim to the Throne could come in handy as an argument to dispute the legitimacy of the fact that the Von Dietz‑Hadamar family possessed the Throne of Eiffelland.

    “How are the other preparations going?” Schleifer asked.
    “They are going as planned,” the Duke said. He decided not to discuss the groom’s willingness to marry with Schleifer. That was a different problem than the one currently at hand. “It will be a wedding party appropriate for the daughter of a Duke.”
    “Good. Good. It is a pity that I can’t attend, but we both know why,” Schleifer said. “Now our other plans. How is it going?”

    Until the beginning of the year, the far-right movement of Eiffelland consisted of a political branch, the Volksunion, and an extraparliamentary organisation called the Gotisch Eiffelländische Liga (GEL). The latter organisation was responsible for quite a lot of violence against immigrants, gays and political leftwingers, until it was dismantled at the beginning of the year. Von Stolzenau was still angry about that. More because of the underlying reason than because of the simple fact, which was a badly organised move to obtain military secrets. 90% of all GEL-members were arrested, and now 50% of all GEL-members were behind bars after convictions because of maltreatment or public violence. Von Stolzenau knew that the other 50% was under surveillance. He had to build a new organisation, but couldn’t use former GEL-members. He had to move discretely. Luckily, not all his old stalwarts were in the GEL.

    “I am rebuilding my organisation, but slowly,” he said to Schleifer. “That takes some time, unfortunately. I have to recruit people with the right ideas about Eiffelland who are not known to the authorities. But I’m following a different path than Von Weizenburg did. He only collected a couple of bruisers around them. OK, some also had brains, but the majority did not. Von Weizenburg had some brains as well, but in the end, also he himself was nothing more but a bruiser. I’m doing it differently. I’m extending my network in the governmental institutions so that I can steer it instead of only using it for information gathering, and I’m building up a network in the police, the armed forces, the large companies and the political parties.”
    “But that process will last years,” Schleifer said.
    “But it is the only way I can do it,” Von Stolzenau said. “This country is not ripe for a revolution. Apart from that, we don’t have the GEL at our disposal any more, so we can’t impose anything any more. If we want to take over power, we have to do it in a different way, by sabotaging the functioning of the governmental institutions and by making sure that you can only earn a good living if you sympathise with us. Indeed, that takes years, but it is the only way. Of course I also have some strong men at my disposal for the inevitable dirty jobs, but that’s it.”
    “So we will have to wait for a couple of years. Do you have an indication of how long your plan will take?” Schleifer asked.
    “I think it will take five to ten years,” Von Stolzenau said.

    After the jeweller had left, the Duke went to his wife and daughter with the new jewels. Both were enchanted. The Duke had spent a lot of money on the jewels, but they were worth every Mark the Duke had paid. It was a tricky investment given the fact that Matthias had broken the engagement. However, the Duke refused to make that scandal public. Too many engagements and love affairs had gone wrong for his daughter; it would become embarrassing if this one went wrong as well. Therefore, he continued the preparations for the wedding and gave Matthias time to apologise.

    Unfortunately, despite the splendid jewels, the Duchess had to spoil the anticipatory pleasure.
    “As it looks now, the wedding will be a marvellous party, but there is a problem. Quite a crucial one. There is no groom,” she said. “Matthias’s father met with Matthias on the 26th of June. Now it’s 3 weeks later, but still no response.”
    “Maybe Matthias needs some more time than usual to see what is best for him. I’m not worried at the moment. We’ll get an answer soon,” the Duke said.
    “But what will happen if Matthias won’t apologise?” Ophelia asked.
    The Duke took his daughter’s face between his hand palms and said: “Don’t worry, mein Schatz. He will.”
     
  14. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    28 July 1955
    Bremen, Eiffelland

    “Time of death … 13:24.”

    Oberarzt Dr. Ludwig Koch looked at his patient Dieter Weißburg, together with his two assistants Robert Gallian and Lucas Bergsteiger. Until his dying day, he would wonder about this patient. What killed him in such a cruel and fast pace? Weißburg was brought in with several infections by bacteria and parasites that usually never occurred in humans. More of such infections followed, and even a kind of cancer Koch had never seen in his life, only heard of during his education. It was a Kaposi Sarcoma. Weißburg never left the Universitätsklinikum Bremen. He was too ill for that. A few weeks before his death, he developed dementia. Also this stunned Koch and his assistants. Even the neurologist they consutlted didn’t know what was happening. Now Koch and his assistants looked at the deceased Weißburg, stunned about what they had seen during the past ten months.

    Koch, Bergsteiger and Gallian made the sign of the cros.
    “God have his soul,” Koch said. After a pause, he continued talking. “We have done everything we could. We fought infection upon infection, spent nights and weekends in libraries all over the country searching for articles or book chapters describing comparable cases, but didn’t find anything. The only thing we could do was prolonging his life and keeping his suffering to a minimum.”
    “It is sad that his family never visited him,” Bergsteiger said.
    “Didn’t you know about it?” Gallian asked. “His family renounced him as soon as they heard that he was arrested for treason.”
    “But we cannot allow our emotions to be steered by feelings like that. We are doctors. We swore Hippocrates’s Oath. We have to help everybody, regardless of what they did in the past and what they still want to do,” Koch said. “And we are not finished yet. We will have to publish about this case. We cannot be sure that Weißburg was the only patient. We have to publish about him, if not for now, then for the future. We stored samples of him in the -200, right?”
    “All kinds of samples you can think about. Blood, sputum, stool, urine, sweat, saliva, tears, lymph node biopts, ...”
    “I also want biopts of his organs. But first we have to cool his head. University hospitals all over the country want his brains, you know that. We have to freeze it in,” Koch said.


    1 August 1955
    Jagdschloss Glienicke, Trier, Eiffelland

    The first thing Prince Johann said when Prince Ludwig introduced Matthias von Luckenwalde as his boyfriend to the Royal Family, was: “Matthias, ich verstehe, dass du die Ophelia los werden wolltest, aber ist deswegen schwul werden nicht etwas zu drastisch?” Matthias, I understand that you wanted to get rid of Ophelia, but isn’t it a bit too drastic to turn gay for that?

    Indeed, the character of Ophelia von Stolzenau was well-known among the noble and lordly families of Eiffelland. In fact a total of three future-grooms had cancelled the engagements with her, before Matthias did. Ophelia could look very beautiful in the right dresses and with the right make‑up, but that was not enough compensation for her terrible character. But still, it was not official that Matthias had broken the engagement. It was not hard to the Royal Family to figure out that Matthias had different plans than marrying Ophelia, but the Royal Family was sensitive enough to leave it to the Von Stolzenaus and the Von Luckenwaldes to officially cancel the marriage. The fact that that had not happened yet puzzled the King a bit. Had Matthias really cancelled the marriage? Probably yes. The King didn’t have a reason to doubt about Matthias’s honesty. But why did the Von Stolzenaus and the Von Luckenwaldes still act as if the marriage would take place? Would they really let everyone travel to Stolzenau and then suddenly get upset in the Church because the groom wasn’t there? Or were both families planning something else to save their honour?
    The King asked about it at the dinner table. Matthias answered: “Well, it’s quite simple, Your Majesty, I won’t be there. If my father and the Duke of Stolzenau want to let the marriage take place, well, there is no groom.”
    The King, who understood Matthias’s position but considered the latter’s answer a bit too rebellious, replied: “I will tell you a story about my greatgrandfather, King Albrecht II, who was invited to the wedding of the eldest son of a Count with a daughter of another count. The evening before the marriage, the future bride and groom concluded that they didn’t love each other enough to marry, so they cancelled the wedding. When my greatgrandfather heard about that, he immediately wrote a letter to the groom, stating: ‘When I, the King of Eiffelland, come to your wedding, you cannot announce the evening before that you don’t want to marry. You swore an oath to me, and I order you to marry.’ As a result, the two married.” The King paused for a moment. Then he continued. “As you know, I am also invited to your marriage. We are still talking about the daughter of a Duke, of a Lordly Family. OK, we all know what kind of daughter of a Duke is involved, but that doesn’t change the fact that she is Lordly. Therefore, I will attend the wedding. The scandal will unfold itself in front of my eyes as well. Luckily for you, I am a different person than my greatgrandfather was. I know the background of your decision, and I respect that. I would also have respected that if you would not have been my son’s boyfriend. Indeed, we need to keep up our honour, but a marriage without love is a dead marriage ruining the lives of both spouses. It is a big mistake that Lords and Noblemen did that to themselves in the past, and in many cases are still doing so. I myself did not make that mistake, and I don’t want my sons to make that mistake, either.”

    The Royal Family had gathered together in its weekend residence near the Trierer See, Jagdschloss Glienicke. This was more a villa than a castle, but it perfectly served its purpose. King Albrecht and his family loved water sports, and this villa was close to the Trierer See. It was at the same property as Schloss Glienicke, the palace the King used for official events during Summer, like the annual birthday party of his eldest son, that would take place next Weekend. The Royal Family used it mainly for itself. The house had direct access to the Trierer See. There were several sailing boats and motorboats in the small private harbour that the King had ordered to construct at the property.
    Apart from Johann’s remark, immediately followed by a remark from Ludwig’s fourth brother Franz (“you never know, mayby Ophelia turned him gay”), the Royal Family received Matthias heartily. Later on, Johann and Franz also appeared to be nice lads, only a bit foulmouthed. After dinner, the whole group took the motor boats to go the lake and take a late glass of wine with Burgundian and Nichtsteiner cheese there.
    This morning Matthias realised that he had just woken up next to his boyfriend for the first time in their relationship. They could never spend the night together when they were still in the Navy. There was simply not enough privacy for that at the Aachen, and both considered it too tricky to stay with each other at the Weissenfelser Stadtschloss or a hotel in Weissenfels when they subscribed for University. Both had something to hide, maybe not for the Royal Family, but definitely for the world outside the Palace. So this night was the first night they spent together. It was fantastic.

    Today was a hot day again, which the Royal Family spent on the Trierer See. They sailed, swam and waterskied. On a certain moment, Ludwig and Matthias got separated from the group. It was around eight o’ clock. The sun was setting. It was still hot. Ludwig and Matthias took another dive into the water, climbed into the boat again and started talking and laughing.
    “Ludwig,” Matthias said at a certain moment, “thank you for arranging this with the invitation from your father. I have never been happier in my life than this weekend, with you.”

    Normally, Matthias would have gone to his own family after having been demobilised, but the two guys both realised very well what kind of weekend Matthias would have had. So Ludwig wrote a letter to his father. Luckily, his post was exempt from being read by the censors. Because of that, he was able to notify his family about his relationship with Matthias in an earlier stage. And now he asked his father if Matthias would be welcome at Jagdschloss Glienicke in the weekend of 1 and 2 August, and explained what Matthias could await when he would go home that weekend. The King understood the situation, and officially invited Matthias for the weekend of 1 and 2 August.
    Of course Matthias could not refuse an official invitation by the King. His parents, Ophelia and her parents gnashed their teeth and saw Matthias step into Ludwig’s Borschel 356. Von Stolzenau had some information about Ludwig that he had received from his contacts in the Königlicher Garde, so he was beginning to ask himself some questions. Von Luckenwalde did not have that information, but he knew about his own son. That alone was the reason why he had arranged the marriage with Ophelia. He did not like the idea of his son getting a relationship with a guy again, not even if a Royal Prince was involved. Maybe the current King had legalised homosexuality, but Noblemen had to indicate the right way by giving the good example.

    “Sometimes it’s handy to have a certain position,” Ludwig smiled. “I haven’t been happier myself, either.”
    Then Matthias wrapped his arms around Ludwig, which the latter answered.
    “Aren’t you afraid that somebody is looking at us?” Ludwig asked.
    “Look around you. The only boat in the neighbourhood is from the Königlicher Garde, and also they need binoculars to see what we are doing. They swore an oath. All other boats are too far away from us to see us, and believe me, the people in those boats will have other things to do than watching us,” Matthias said. And the two started to kiss.

    Indeed, all members of the Königlicher Garde had to swear an oath. In most cases, that oath wasn’t broken. But it was not impossible to bring some key members into such a financial trouble that they were forced to undertake unconventional measures to get some money. And that was exactly what Von Stolzenau had done with one of the guards on duty to protect Ludwig and Matthias at that moment. The guard exactly noticed what was going on, and would report every detail, including the indecent ones, to the Duke of Stolzenau.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  15. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Trier
    2 August 1955
    21:00

    Matthias would have loved to stay some more days, but he could not postpone the confrontation with his family any longer. Ludwig decided to take him to Schloss Luckenwalde. After having dined, Matthias said goodbye to the Royal Family. Ludwig and Matthias walked to Ludwig’s car with Matthias’s luggage. Ten minutes later, they were on the motorway going to the Trierer Ring.

    Luckenwalde is a city of about 20,000 inhabitants. It is situated about five km from Schloss Luckenwalde. It was grounded during the 13th century, and was allowed by the Count of Luckenwalde to adopt the name of the castle and the family name of the Count. Together with the Count, the city became important in forestry and timber trade. That was still the branche where the family of the Count of Luckenwalde was active in. Matthias decided to study something else than forestry, which was allowed by his parents, who considered it a good idea if Matthias would not remain too close to the rest of the family. However, Matthias knew a lot about trees. He just liked physics more.
    It was 21:40 when Ludwig turned his car to the carriage drive of the Luckenwalde property. He drove about half a minute and halted before the gate. Matthias stepped out of the car and pushed the gate bell button. Inside the house, a butler took up a telephone horn which was connected to a speaker and a microphone at the gate. When Matthias said who he was, the butler shifted a handle. The gate opened itself. Matthias got into the car, and Ludwig drove further.
    The Luckenwalde Castle wasn’t a medieval castle any more. It had been rebuilt in Baroque style after a fire. It was a white two-story building with a roof of slate. The stairs leading to the front door were made of marble. Also today had been a very warm day. The sun had set about 2 hours ago, but the moon was just coming up. All the windows of the house were open to let some fresh air in. Wire gauges kept the insects out.
    In front of the house, Matthias and Ludwig embraced each other in the car. Then they got out and unloaded Matthias’s luggage. The butler carried the luggage inside the house, and Ludwig and Matthias followed. The entry hall had a marble floor and quite large marble stairs in the middle. Matthias’s father awaited them there. He shook hands with Ludwig and offered him a drink.
    “No, thank you Sir,” Ludwig said, knowing that the Count only offered him a drink to be polite. “It is already late, and I think you will have to discuss some things. I will drive back to Trier immediately.” Then he shook hands with the Count again, and also with Matthias. He left the house, walked down the stairs to his car, got in and pushed the button to start the engine. The air-cooled engine in the back started with a roar. Ludwig drove to the gate, which was opened for him. After he had passed through, the gate was closed again. Ludwig drove over the carriage drive to the road, and then drove back to Trier. He had the windows of his car open. The evening air floated in and went through his hair. One way or another, he felt sad about the fact that he had to leave Matthias behind in such a romantic night, especially because of what was waiting for Matthias. This was not going to be a pleasant reunion with his family after his military service.

    The Count of Luckenwalde led Matthias to his study. There he pointed at a chair and said “Sit down”. He himself seated himself behind his desk. Then he started to talk.
    “Ophelia hasn’t received a letter from you,” he said.
    “That’s correct,” Matthias said. “I took a decision, and I stick to it.”
    The Count stared in his son’s face with a piercing gaze in his eyes. He did so for at least a minute. Then he asked: “Which kind of a decision is it that you took?”
    “Should I really answer that question?” Matthias asked back. “To which extent is it not clear that I don’t want to marry Ophelia? Do you know what kind of a bitch she is? I’m not going to spend my life with her! And you shouldn’t have forced me to do so in the first place! It is not for nothing that her three previous engagements failed! She is notorious for her horrible character!”
    “How much effort did you do to really get to know her?” The Count asked.
    “Enough to know what kind of woman she is,” Matthias said.
    “But is it really that, Matthias? Or is it … something else? … Or better said, … somebody else?” the Count asked. He didn’t overlook Matthias frightening up.
    “What do you mean?” Matthias asked.
    “You know very well what I mean,” the Count said. “I am talking about a kind of close encounters with other human beings that I don’t want to see you involved in again.”
    “You mean Armin?” Matthias asked.
    “I don’t want to hear that name again, but indeed, that’s what I meant,” the Count said. “The reason why I arranged this marriage was to keep you away from such close encounters. You should be happy that I arranged a daughter from a Ducal family for you, despite her character. You will not only save your honour, but also improve your social ranking.”
    “And ruin my life,” Matthias said.
    “You will ruin your life even more if you don’t marry Ophelia,” the Count said. “You will loose your allowance and I will disinherit you. But not only that. You will loose you honour in front of whole Nobledom in Eiffelland, including the Royal Family, where you spent this weekend. And with that all your noble friends. Do you really think that Prince Ludwig will continue his friendship with somebody who lost dishonoured himself? You will be alone in this world. Completely alone.”
    “In which way did I dishonour myself? I ended the engagement well before the marriage,” Matthias said.
    “Officially you did not,” the Count said. “Officially you are still engaged. The only people who know that you ended the engagement are the Duke and Duchess of Stolzenau, Ophelia herself, your mother and me. And we will deny that you ended the engagement. It will be your words against ours.”
    “So I will really have to say ‘no’ at the altar, Matthias said. “But you made one miscalculation. You’re not the only ones who know that I ended the engagement. Also Prince Ludwig knows,” Matthias said.
    “What?” the Count asked.
    “To be honest, the complete Royal Family knows,” Matthias said. “The complete Royal Family knows that I ended the engagement four months ago, five months before the wedding would take place, and well before the wedding was announced. At least the Royal Family will know that I am forced to go to the altar.”
    The Count rised from his chair.
    “For now we don’t have anything to say. Go to your room, and don’t leave it until I call you,” he said.
     
  16. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    4 August 1955
    Trier, Eiffelland

    At his birth in 1920 , nobody would have thought that this son of an agricultural labourer would go to University. But seven years ago, Erich Kaiser absolved his law study summa cum laude at the Katholische Universität Köln. Already at primary school, he was lauded by his teachers for his eagerness to learn and his good notes. In the end, it was the local priest who arranged his entrance to a Catholic Gymnasium in the neighbourhood and, when it became clear that Kaiser would not be called for Priesthood, organised a stipendium from the Catholic Church to let him study at university. And so he studied, and absolved his studies with the best notes of his year. Soon after that, he started to work for a law firm in Köln, and last year he was elected in the Staatstag for the CDV.
    Although not called for Priesthood, Kaiser was a devout Catholic who sticked to the most conservative interpretation of the Bible. He was against divorce, against homosexuality and against abortion. He didn’t eat meat on Fridays and strictly fasted according to the rules of the Catholic Church between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Shortly after he was elected into the Staatstag, he met the Duke of Stolzenau. They soon became good acquaintances, mainly because they shared strong religious feelings (at least that was what Kaiser thought) and agreed that the CDV had become too liberal. At a certain moment, the Duke introduced Kaiser to a lieutenant of the Königlicher Garde. From that moment onwards, the member of the Staatstag regularly met with the lieutenant of the Königlicher Garde and acted as the liaison between this lieutenant and the Duke. Sometimes they met at the tennis court, sometimes in a bar, sometimes at a varnishing, and the lieutenant often handed a report to Kaiser, who transferred it to the Duke of Stolzenau.
    Today Kaiser and the lieutenant met each other in a bar in the quarter Wilmersdorf. It was a short encounter, but long enough for the lieutenant to hand over an envelope to Kaiser. Shortly after that, this envelope was sent to the Duke of Stolzenau.


    6 August 1955

    The report of the guard was detailed. Too detailed to Von Stolzenau’s taste, but the main message was clear. Prince Ludwig and Matthias von Luckenwalde were in a relationship. At least now he knew why Von Luckenwalde wanted to arrange a marriage for Matthias: To save the boy’s honour and to keep him away from other men. Von Stolzenau would have done the same. Actually, he was planning to do so for his oldest child, but then the latter disappeared. And ended in the river Lahn with his boyfriend.
    In any case, the Duke had a potential problem. There was still one month to go until the wedding, but the chance that Matthias would say “no” at the altar appeared to be quite a lot larger than expected. The report describing Matthias and Prince Ludwig making love at the Trierer See made crystal clear that Matthias had other plans than his family. And the fact that he had a relationship with a Royal Prince, apparently with the approval of the King, would imply that Matthias’s position was far less bad than it seemed. Instead of becoming the pariahs of Eiffellandian Society, the two boys would set new standards. Disgusting new standards according to the Duke.
    So action was needed. Either Matthias had to say “yes” at the altar, or he had to be removed from society. Drasticly. Now he was at the Luckenwalde Castle, where his parents and his older brothers were putting him under a lot of pressure. Would that be enough? Matthias knew that he was backed by nobody less than the King himself. Maybe it would be better to prepare Matthias’s removal from society. The Duke already had a plan for that.

    When Prof. Dr. Waldbaum absolved his studies, during the 1920s, psychiatry and neurology were no separate specialisms. Instead, Prof. Dr. Waldbaum was Nervenarzt, nerve doctor. This meant that he was both a neurologist and a psychiatrist. As a result of developments in Medicine that led to a separation between psychiatry and neurology during the 1940s, Waldbaum received more and more psychiatric patients and less and less neurologic patients. He had become the Chefarzt of a psychiatric clinic that was sponsored by the Duke of Stolzenau. It was this nerve doctor that the Duke turned to in order to find a solution for his problem with Matthias.

    “A lobotomy? But Your Highness, lobotomies were forbidden two years ago. I’m not allowed any more to conduct lobotomies,” Waldbaum said. “Of course I can diagnose this young man with a mental disorder requiring immediate admission to a nerve clinic. After that, I can make sure that he will stay here for the rest of his life, but I cannot conduct a lobotomy. If that is really what you want, we will have to conduct it abroad. But if anybody discovers that we did so, that could mean the end of this clinic.”
    “I see,” the Duke said. “So the only option we have is to lock him up in your clinic for the rest of his life, diagnosed with a mental disorder requiring a long-term stay in a nerve clinic. There is one problem I have with this scenario.How long will you remain in office, Herr Doktor? You are 55. You will retire in 15 years at the latest. Then you won’t have the power any more to keep this young man in. We have to think up a solution so that he won’t speak up.”
    “The only solution I would know is this young man’s death then,” Waldbaum said. “That is the most radical solution, with 100% chance of success if we are only interested in the question whether he will ever be able to speak up again or not.”
    “You don’t want to conduct a lobotomy, but instead you kill your patient without blinking an eye,” the Duke said.
    “The end result will be the same, Your Highness. This young man will disappear from the stage and will never appear again. The only difference is, that after a lobotomy he will live on like a will‑less and apathetic monkey,” Waldbaum said.
    “Well, a lobotomy is not an option any more, so an overdose it will be,” the Duke said. “But not earlier than a couple of years. Now there is still too much focus on him. Make sure that he won’t speak up in the meantime.”
    “You can trust me, Your Highness, he won’t”, the doctor said.
     
  17. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    8 August 1955
    A small village near Köln

    It was not a hotel that the King had chosen for this meeting. It was a holiday house. Not really a luxurious one, but the Queen had enough ideas to make it look luxurious, at least for a day. The King could also have decided to invite the Duke of Stolzenau and the Count of Luckenwalde to his palace, but he decided to share the burden of the travel between him and the Count of Luckenwalde on one side and the Duke of Stolzenau on the other side. He had taken some kitchen crew and a butler with him to take care of a good lunch. And of course he had not forgotten about his safety.
    The Duke of Stolzenau and the Count of Luckenwalde both arrived on time. The King welcomed them and showed them into the house for lunch. He would reveal the reason for this invitation after a very good lunch with very good wine had been enjoyed. Meanwhile, he built up a conversation as relaxed as possible.

    “How are the preparations for the marriage going?” the King asked after all dishes had been taken away and coffee had been served.
    “They are going without any problems, Your Majesty, thank you,” the Duke said. “Of course it is a lot of work, organising a marriage, but everything goes as planned.”
    “Also from our side, Your Majesty,” the Count said.
    “As you both know, the future groom was my guest last weekend,” the King said. “Of course we also discussed the marriage.”
    “I can assure you, Your Majesty, both bride and groom are looking forward to this new phase in their lives,” the Count said. “My son Matthias has no other wish than marrying the Duke’s daughter. He is heavily in love. And I think His Highness the Duke of Stolzenau can confirm that his daughter is also heavily in love with my son.”
    “Is this really the case, Count?” The King asked. “I cannot judge about the feelings of the future bride, but the future groom indicated that he is far less positive about this marriage than he is told to be by you.”
    The Duke and the Count looked at the King, a bit irritated.
    “I didn’t invite you here to humiliate you by showing you that I know things you want to keep secret. Believe me, I understand your trains of thought. I am a Nobleman myself. I know that marriages are more a matter of politics, dynasties and nobleman’s honour than a matter of love in our circles. But history only sparsely mentions good marriages in our circles, especially when politics, dynasties and nobleman’s honour played too large roles,” the King said.
    You don’t realise enough how much your own position is based on letting politics, dynasties and nobleman’s honour play the decisive role, the Duke thought.
    “I have no reason to doubt about Matthias’s words when he tells me that he doesn’t want to marry Ophelia. I realise how much depends on this marriage from your sides, but please also look at it from Matthias’s perspective. And from Ophelia’s perspective. I don’t think either of them will be happy when they are forced into this marriage. Matthias because he is not in love, and Ophelia because she is constantly confronted with a man who doesn’t want her.”
    “Your Majesty, also you know everything about Nobleman’s Honour. You mention it yourself. It is exactly Nobleman’s Honour that demands from Matthias to close this marriage,” the Count said.
    Given the comments on Ophelia von Stolzenau the King had heard from his son Johann, he thought that Matthias would harm his honour more with this marriage than with cancelling this marriage. Ophelia’s character was famous, and her generation had already expelled her from society. The man marrying her would be isolated together with her. But the King didn’t say that out loud.
    “Count, I think Matthias will overcome that shame, He will come out better than with a marriage he doesn’t want,” the King said. “The perception of Society will mainly depend on how we three handle this. Of course Matthias’s fate will be sealed as soon as you expel him from your family. Then the scandal becomes public. But as long as the scandal is not public, there is no problem. Just announce that the marriage has been cancelled upon a mutual decision by the bride and groom, backed by the parents. Then there is no scandal."
    “There is, Your Majesty. That will be the fourth time that an engagement with my daughter Ophelia will end prematurely. Do you realise what kind of a shame that is? Ophelia was already unmarriable before the engagement with Matthias. Now she will only be more unmarriable,” the Duke said.
    “Her life won’t be any better in an unhappy marriage,” the King said. “And maybe she can find happiness outside society.”
    “Your Majesty, I appreciate your concerns about my son and the Duke’s daughter. However, there are very important reasons why this marriage has to take place,” the Count said.
    “The only very important reason I can think of, is a pregnancy. Everything else can be hidden before the public, and is, therefore, no reason for ruining the lives of two young people,” the King said. “Is Ophelia really pregnant? If yes, from whom?”
    “As far as I know, Ophelia is not pregnant. The very important reason I was talking about is … a different one,” the Count said.
    “But what is your interest in this, Your Majesty?” the Duke asked. “Why is the King of Eiffelland, who is said to work 60 hours a week, interested in the lives of two young individuals?”
    “As you both know, Matthias is a very close friend of my son Prince Ludwig,” the King said. “I don’t consider it strange that a father is interested in his children’s friends.”
    “How close is very close, Your Majesty?” the Duke asked.
    “What exactly do you mean, Duke?” the King asked with a threatening tone in his voice.
    “Very close can mean several things, Your Majesty,” the Duke said. “And some types of a very close friendship between two men need to be … prevented … or stopped. In that case, you yourself could also have an interest in letting this marriage take place.”
    “I think Ludwig and Matthias are wise enough to decide how close they let their friendship be,” the King said arrogantly. “But that is not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is whether you let the marriage of Matthias and Ophelia continue or look for a solution in which the marriage is cancelled without loss of face for anybody.”
    “We have taken our decision, Your Majesty, and that decision is final,” the Count said.
    “The marriage will take place,” the Duke said.


    22 August 1955
    Luckenwalde, Eiffelland

    It was a cloudy day. In fact, the complete sky was grey. Fortunately, it didn’t rain. There was no wind, either. The temperature was a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius. The Duke of Stolzenau had got up early this morning to drive to Schloss Luckenwalde and visit his daughter’s future family‑in‑law. Now it was 2 o’ clock in the afternoon, and he approached the gate of Schloss Luckenwalde in his black Raimer 300. It was time to discuss the last details of the wedding, and maybe also the most important issue of the wedding: Will the groom say “yes”? The gate appeared to be open. The Duke could drive through. He parked his car in front of the white baroque castle, got out, walked up the stairs to the front door and rang. After half a minute, the Count of Luckenwalde himself opened the door. He expected the Duke around this time, so he was waiting in his library.

    “Good afternoon, Your Highness,” he said. “Did you have a pleasant journey?”
    “Yes, I did, thank you,” the Duke said.

    The two men went upstairs to the Count’s working room. The count ordered two fruit juices with ice. After the butler had brought the drinks and had left, the men started to talk.

    “Has Matthias said ‘yes’?” the Duke asked.
    “Unfortunately not. We are continuously talking to him, but he insists,” the Count said. “But as you know, he is backed by the most important family of the country.”
    “Indeed,” the Duke said.
    “What are we going to do now?” the Count asked. “Cancel the marriage?”
    “No. I cannot inflict that upon Ophelia,” the Duke said. “Besides, we are too late with that.”
    The Duke took a sip of his fruit juice. Then he continued.
    “On top of that, there is another issue. I already hinted at it during our conversation with the King. I think you also heard some rumours about Prince Ludwig’s complicated stance towards women. It could be that this ‘very close friendship’ between Matthias and Prince Ludwig is of a type we cannot allow to our sons,” the Duke said. “To be honest, I think the chances that we are actually talking about such a ‘very close friendship’ are high. We cannot cancel the marriage, because of Ophelia and because we might soon see your son in a homosexual relationship with Prince Ludwig.”
    “But what are our options then?” the Count asked.
    “Either Matthias says ‘yes’, … or he disappears from the stage,” the Duke said.
    “Do you mean ‘killing him’?” the Count asked frightened up.
    “No, not that. That goes too far,” the Duke said. He didn’t consider it a problem to kill Mathias, but he knew that the boy was in a certain spotlight now. Matthias’s death would be investigated thoroughly at this moment. However, he did not say so. He considered it better to show a bit of compassion regarding Matthias. “I think we should have him admitted to a nerve clinic. In that case, we can cancel the marriage because of the groom’s illness. Nobody can help it if the groom gets so seriously ill that he cannot go to the altar, so no loss of honour for anyone.”
    “And after that?” the Count asked.
    “There will be no ‘after that’. He will remain in the clinic for the rest of his life. Even if he escapes, he is incompetent. When he’s caught, he’ll go straight back to the clinic. And you will be the one who decides where he goes to. Well, we have to go to a court of justice for that, but that will be arranged easily. And after that you will be his representative, because of his incompetence,” the Duke said.
    “But what if the Royal Family demands a second opinion?” the Count asked.
    “The Royal Family can’t demand that. Only you can demand that, as Matthias’s legal representative,” the Duke said.
    “I have to think about this,” the Count said.
    “Of course. I understand. But please keep in mind that we don’t have much time,” the Duke said. “The wedding will take place in two weeks.”
     
  18. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    10,111
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    29 August 1955
    Luckenwalde, Eiffelland

    Matthias had been isolated by his family. He couldn’t use the phone, he couldn’t write any letters, and he couldn’t leave the estate. He was continuously guarded by one of his brothers, or by one of the servants. In earlier days, the gate was only closed at night and was open at daytime, but now the gate was continuously closed, only to be opened for guests. Only last week once the gate remained open after the oil man had delivered a load of fuel oil. Apparently the servants had forgotten to close it. Unfortunately, Matthias discovered too late that the gate was open: At that moment the black Raimer of the Duke of Stolzenau drove through it, and after him the gate was closed. Matthias was locked up again.

    Sometimes Matthias’s father went out. For business, as he said. But Matthias had the feeling that something else was arranged as well. His father had suddenly become caring since the Duke’s visit. Why?

    Today his father had sent his mother and brothers out of the house for a certain charity event. Strangely enough, even the servants had been sent out. What was happening here? Matthias saw the gates opening. A blue Borgward drove through. The gates closed again. The Borgward parked, and a man got out. He walked up the stairs to the front door, and rang. Matthias didn’t have a good feeling about this. Apparently his father had a plan he could not use witnesses for. That was why he had sent everybody out. And that man would help him with his plans.
    Matthias took a decision. The house was big, and there were only two men to guard him. He would try to outwit them. He immediately went to his brothers’ bedrooms to get the keys of their cars. He would take the one he could reach. Both had a Borgward Sportcoupé. That was fast enough to get out. The only problem would be to reach the switch for opening the gates, and then run to the cars, open one of them and drive away.

    “Matthias?” his father shouted. Matthias didn’t answer.
    “Matthias!?” his father shouted again. Matthias remained silent. But he knew where his father was. In the hall, near the switch of the gates.
    “Matthias, where are you?” his father shouted. He walked up the stairs. Exactly where Matthias wanted to have him. He was standing in one of the bedrooms upstairs, and watched how his father passed him to look for him in his own bedroom. Matthias left his position and walked down the stairs, with his shoes in his hand. He reached the switch, and opened the gate. Then he ran to the front door.
    “Matthias,” a voice called. Not his father’s voice, and close to him.
    Matthias frightened up. But just for a moment. He opened the door and ran out.
    The doors of the blue Borward opened, and three men got out. They immediately ran to Matthias, while he was running to his brothers’ cars. Matthias reached one of the cars, and had to try both keys. At that moment, he was grabbed by the three men. Soon they overpowered him and pushed him to the floor. Then he saw the man from inside approaching him, with a syringe in his hand. Matthias was still screaming and trying to move, while he felt the needle of the syringe entering one of his veins. Prof. Dr. Waldbaum pushed the complete contents of the syringe into his vein. Ten seconds later, he lost his consciousness.

    Meanwhile, his father had come down. He walked to the place where his son was lying. One of the men that had overpowered Matthias showed him the keys of cars Matthias had taken.
    “What did he want to do with them?” he asked. “He didn’t have a driver’s licence.”
    The man looked at the Count.
    “When he came back from Boarding School, he almost immediately had to fulfil Society Service. There was no time to let him take driving classes,” his father said.
    At that moment, a white DW Transporter with red crosses on the sides drove through the gate. Two male nurses stepped out and got a stretcher out of the back of the VAN. They walked to Matthias, who was still unconscious, put him on the stretcher, and strapped him with leather belts. Then they lifted the stretcher.
    “Farewell, Matthias,” the Count said. “Sorry, but you left me no other choice.”
    Then he looked at the nurses, and saw how they walked to the VAN, put the stretcher into its back, and stepped into it. One of the male nurses stayed with Matthias in the back side of the VAN, and the other one seated himself behind the steering wheel. The engine started with the well-known roar of the air‑cooled engines used by DW. The VAN left the estate through the gate.

    “Don’t worry, Herr Graf. We will take care of him in my clinic in the Harz,” Prof. Dr. Waldbaum said. Then he walked to his car, followed by the three men that had traveled with him. The Borgward started, and drove away through the gate. The Count walked into the house and went to his study.

    Prince Ludwig had written several letters to Matthias. All of them had been kept by the Count; Matthias had never seen them. The Count hadn’t read the letters though. He had just put them into his safe. Until last week, when he decided to open them after the visit of the Duke of Stolzenau last week. He had read them all, and learned that the Duke’s insinuations of a possible love affair between Matthias and Prince Ludwig were true. Indeed, the Count had no choice but taking Matthias off the stage. So he cooperated with the Duke, but didn’t feel well about it. Now he had to tell his wife and other children about what had happened and why.
     
  19. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    10,111
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    31 August 1955
    Schloss Charlottenburg
    Trier, Eiffelland

    It was the last week of the summer holidays for Ludwig. Next week he would go to Weissenfels to attend the introduction weeks of the University. Then in October he would start his studies Law and Art History. It was something the Queen was sad about. Now the last child would leave the house. The Queen clearly suffered from an Empty‑Nest‑Syndrome. But she wouldn’t become the only one to suffer.

    The King, who was also the Grand-Duke of Nichtstein, always travelled to Nichtstein on Monday evening so that he could meet the members of the Nichtsteiner Government there. After that, he travelled back on Tuesday evening. After his arrival in Nichtstein, he was called by his wife. The traditional task of the women of Eiffellandian Noblemen was to maintain the contacts within the family and between other Noble families. As a result, it was the Queen who received the letter from the Duke of Stolzenau outlining the cancellation of the wedding between Matthias von Luckenwalde and Ophelia von Stolzenau due to a severe mental illness of the groom. She first notified Prince Ludwig, and then called the King in Nichtstein.

    “So the marriage was cancelled?” the King asked.
    “Yes. They say because Matthias is severely mentally ill. The letter also says that they want to wait for Matthias’s cure with announcing a new date for the marriage,” the Queen said.
    “Poor Matthias,” the King said. “How is Ludwig?”
    “He is totally shocked,” the Queen said. “He received a letter from Matthias’s mother about this. He was informed as one of Matthias’s friends.”
    “What’s in that letter?” the King asked.
    “Only that Matthias got a psychosis and cannot be visited, and that the marriage was cancelled,” the Queen said. “Ludwig wrote him several letters this month, by the way, but never received anything back.”
    “Hhmmm,” the King said. “Well, the only thing we can do now is to send our best wishes to Matthias. I will inform myself as soon as I am back in Trier.”
    “Could it be that Matthias was declared insane to have an honourful reason to cancel the marriage?,” the Queen said. “At least that was the first thing Ludwig said. He wants to try to get Matthias out of the clinic.”
    “That could indeed be possible. But we will never know for sure. The Stolzenaus and Luckenwaldes will never admit that. Then we would need a counterexpertise, but we cannot arrange that. We are no interested party. Not even Ludwig. Their relationship is by no means official,” the King said. “The only way out for Matthias is to escape from the clinic and to try to get a new identity.”


    2 September 1955
    Schloss Charlottenburg
    Trier, Eiffelland

    “But what if we help him to escape?” Ludwig asked.
    “Too tricky,” the King said. “It has too many constitutional consequences if it ever comes out that we helped Matthias out of that nerve clinic. Even if we can prove that the diagnosis of his psychiatrist is wrong, we will have something to explain. And even if Matthias escapes without our help and gets a new identity, if he shows up on your side, the Stolzenaus and Luckenwaldes will figure out very soon who he is. And then he is in trouble again.”
    “But there must be something we can do?” Ludwig asked despairingly.
    “The only thing I can do is to find out to which clinic Matthias was admitted, and then to send my best wishes to Matthias in such a way that everybody in the clinic knows about it. That’s all,” the King said.
    “And then you’re the King of the country,” Ludwig said.
    “Indeed, but how good would it be if I would indeed have so much power that I could get Matthias out of the clinic? Then this country would not be a constitutional monarchy,” the King said. “You know that. And you also know why we shouldn’t concentrate so much power in the hands of one person.”
     
  20. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    10,111
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    24 December 1955
    Christmas Eve
    Trierer Dom
    Trier, Eiffelland

    The Cathedral of Trier was consecrated to Saint Peter. It was the oldest cathedral of Eiffelland, although not any more the most important one from a clerical point of view. There were two archbishops in Eiffelland: One in Köln and one in Weissenfels. The archbishop from Weissenfels was also the metropolitan of the Church Province of Eiffelland. However, the fact that it was the cathedral in the capital of the country made it important: The King went to Church there. Also on Christmas Eve 1955. Actually the complete Royal Family was there. Princess Antonia, the wife of Prince Wolfgang, was clearly pregnant.
    Prince Ludwig had a very good singing voice. When he attended secondary school, he regularly sang as solosinger at school events, like the Christmas celebration. His voice was so good that he could have become a member of the Trierer Sängerknaben (the Royal Boys Choir of Eiffelland), but the. Last year, when he was serving his military service at the SMS Aachen, he was the solosinger at the Christmas Mass as well. His performance of Minuit Chrétien (a Burgundian Christmas song that was also very popular in Eiffelland (both in the French original version and in the German translation), although it had to compete with Stille Nacht) at that time actually made Matthias von Luckenwalde fall in love with him. Ludwig sang it in the French version at the Aachen, now it was sung by the choir of the Trierer Dom and the Trierer Sängerknaben in the German version. Ludwig had trouble keeping his tears away when he heard the song. It would be linked to Matthias for the rest of Ludwig’s life.
    Three months earlier, he had driven to the clinic where Matthias was “treated”. The psychiatrist didn’t let him to Matthias, but instead gave a terrifying demonstration of how a mentally healthy person could be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Ludwig left the clinic without having seen Matthias. He pushed down the gas pedal of his car, hoping that Matthias would hear the noise of the engine, and then left.
    A few weeks ago, the King got an idea. He used his influence in the Gesundheitsamt (the Health Inspection) to send an inspection team to the clinic where Matthias was staying. But there was no sign of Matthias when the inspection team arrived at the clinic. According to his file, he had escaped while being transported to a clinic where he could be helped better according to Prof. Dr. Waldbaum. That was last week. As soon as Ludwig heard about this, he stepped into his car and drove to the location where Matthias was reported to have escaped, somehwere at a remote place high in the mountains of the Harz, above the snow line. Matthias had indicated that he needed to pee, and then he escaped from his guards. Ludwig found nothing there. The police found nothing there, either, not even the police dogs. Ludwig considered that strange, but the police said that new snow had fallen after Matthias had escaped, and that therefore the traces had been wiped out.
    Now Ludwig was sitting in the Trierer Dom, together with his family, and was thinking about the situation. He missed Matthias, and he knew that there was something strange going on.


    Village Church of Stolzenau

    Did he believe in God? Every time he spoke out the Confession of Faith during Mass, the Duke of Stolzenau asked himself that question. He was known to be a faithful man. Maybe he really believed in God, but he mainly considered Faith a tool to gain power. Exactly that was the basis for his contact with Erich Kaiser, that member of the Staatstag for the CDV. Meanwhile, he had collected several other people around him, many of them motivated by Faith. And Faith would also be the basis for his grab to power within the CDV. Von Seydewitz didn’t notice it, but there were still elements in his CDV that sticked to a stricter interpretation of the Bible than Von Seydewitz and his supporters did, and there were more of those elements than Von Seydewitz took into account.
    Von Stolzenau knew that Von Seydewitz’s attempt to make the CDV less strict had worked out greatly. Until he took over the leadership, 10 years ago, the CDV was loosing seats at every election. When the Staatstag and the Staatsrat decriminalised homosexuality in the 1930s, the CDV voted against, and lost a great deal of seats in the municipal councils of all the large cities in favour of the sociodemocrats and rightwing liberals. A few years later, it also lost the Chancellorship. The Sociodemocrat Horst Jörgens would govern Eiffelland for 10 years, until he was fired by the King in 1950. Jörgens disappeared after then. Nowadays he was presumed dead.
    The CDV recaptured the Chancellorship in 1950, and now Von Seydewitz was serving his second term as Chancellor. The CDV had reached an all-time-high in last year’s elections and had gained a number of seats no political party had ever gained since the introduction of the current election system. Indeed, Von Seydewitz had sensed the spirit of his time correctly when he reformed the CDV into a party that “interpreted the Bible according to its spirit instead of its litteral text”. That was a notion Von Stolzenau despised, not realising that that attitude actually kept many Eiffellandians inside the Church (even homosexual Eiffellandians) despite not living according to the rules in the Bible.
    A few weeks earlier, Von Stolzenau had heard from his contacts in the Gesundheitsamt that Prof. Dr. Waldbaum’s clinic would be visited. He immediately ordered to move Matthias. The official reason would be that a clinic abroad could help him better, but the actual plan was different. Luckily, Von Stolzenau knew the local police commissar, who made sure that the police dogs that would assist with looking for Matthias after his “escape” wouldn’t be able to smell anything.


    Mountains of the Harz
    Near the border with Nichtstein
    A few weeks earlier

    One part of the story was correct. Matthias needed to pee while he was transported. So at the location where he was reported to have escaped, he was helped out of the van and helped to one of the last trees around the tree line. After he was finished, he was taken back to the van. Twenty kilometers farther, however, and higher up in the mountains, the van stopped again, Matthias was thrown out, the side doors were closed and the van drove farther.
    “Hey!! Why did you push me out?! Where are we?!” Matthias screamed into the direction where the van drove to. But nobody heard him.
    It was a cold cloudless night. The first snow had already fallen, during the day it had been around +2 centigrades, but now it was below zero centigrades again. It was freezing, but the cold was that damp cold that was more difficult to bear than dry cold at lower temperatures. It was the beginning of December; it was still the beginning of Winter. The asphalt road was clean, forming a black belt over the white mountain. It was clean either because it had been cleaned, or just because the asphalt was warmer than the surrounding ground when the snow fell. On one side of the road, the mountain wall raised up. On the other side, there was a ravine. The road was wide enough to let two cars pass, and there was white lining in the middle of the road. A long line indicating that it was not allowed to pass other cars. A few weeks later, the temperatures in the high mountains would fall further. Then it would snow more frequently, then it would become -10 to -15 degrees, and then the cold would be the more bearable dry cold. And maybe then also the road would be covered with snow.
    Still in his strait jacket, Matthias managed to get up. Completely desorientated, not knowing where he was, he started to walk down the road. When he heard a car coming from behind, he turned around and kept standing in the middle of the road, so that the driver would see him. The car was a van. The van where he was thrown out of? In any case, the driver didn’t intend to stop. Matthias ran to the other side of the road, but the van steered towards him. He ran farther away and bumped against the mountain wall. Normally, he could have tried to climb it, but not with that strait jacket on. The van just missed him. Matthias heard it stopping, and then driving back. The only choice he had was running up the mountain, and so he did. There was the van again. Matthias pressed himself against the mountain wall. The van just missed him again, but now it stopped a few meters away from him. One of the side doors was already open. Two men jumped out and ran towards Matthias. He started to run down the road, but the men were faster. They grabbed him and kicked against his legs, so that he couldn’t run any more. There was the van again. It drove down the road, and Matthias was thrown in front of it just before it passed. The van hit Matthias, who was pushed over the brink of the road by the impact of the blow.
    One of the men went back to the van and took a large spotlight out of it. He shone down the ravine where Matthias had fallen into. The other man came to him as well.
    “Do you see the body?” he asked.
    “No, but I do see how deep and steep the ravine is. He will have fallen at least 100 meters, maybe even more. And that along a rock wall. And don’t forget that he was still wearing his strait jacket. He won’t have been able to grab anything along the way down,” the man with the spotlight said.
    “OK. Let’s drive back and report that to the Duke,” the other man said.
     

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