My first story, but this has been heavily rewritten from before. I own nothing.
"DR. BARLOW!" A bowler hatted man came running into the aquarium section of the London Zoo, panting from exhaustion. "Dr. BARLOW!"
The doctor looked up from were she was observing a tank filled with barnacles. Fascinating reproductive rate, if we ever planted a creature like these in an enemy base they would become uncontrollable. Putting that bit of information away, she turned to meet the man as he stumbled to a halt and stood panting in front of her. The thylacine at her side didn't turn to greet the familiar doctor, but lifted it's front paws on to the rim of the tank to sniff at the water below. "What is it Dr. Mason, you seem quite distressed?"
"There has been a" pant "um, complication" pant "with your project."
Barlow felt uncharacteristic fear grip her stomach. "Which one?"
"Project" pant "LORIS."
The man was knocked over as Dr. Barlow sprinted passed him and was then trampled by the thylacine running after her. "Oh bloody hell." He jumped up and gave chase
When he finally caught up to her in the mammalian lab room she was leaning over an incubator scribbling furiously on a notepad, ignoring the thylacine sniffing at her dress. "When did this happen," She didn't even look up.
"Last night, before I ended my shift, I noticed a slowing in blood pressure-"
"AND YOU DID NOT TELL ME!" Barlow turned on him with a vengeance.
"I, I, I didn't think it was significant," the man began to imagine what his grave stone would say, HE DID NOT CHECK THE LORIS.
"The whole vital system is collapsing," Barlow turned back to the incubator. "We will have to freeze the eggs, slowing down the vital systems, to buy time to remake them."
"But, but the Loris has already been developed."
"But the embryo's are still developing, we can redirect the growth to fix their internal systems
"How long could that take?"
Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert II, Kaiser and Supreme Emperor of Germany sat down at one of his many conference room tables, covered with a map of Europe. Across the table from him sat his two highest military leaders, Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg and General Erich Ludendorff. "What is the meaning of this," He dropped a stack of papers on the table. "I ordered a summary of your strategy for the coming war and this fulling entails an invasion of France." Hindenburg sighed like a teacher losing their patience with a student. "That was the idea wasn't it, this is the best way to rid ourselves of the Darwinists."
"But it is to dangerous to attack in the west before we have defeated Russia."
"I am happy to tell you, your Highness," Ludendorff interrupted. "That our problems with Russia are at an end."
The Kaiser starred at him, astonished. "Our negotiations bore fruit?" At the behest of some of his more public welfare minded ministers, the Kaiser had opened up backchannel negotiations with the Russian government, to avoid war. The secrecy would keep them from being seen as a sign of weakness, and the thought that he was trying for peace satisfied his people. He never dreamed they would actually succeed.
"Not in there original goals," Hindenburg replied. "but we have come to the possibility of an alternative agreement.
"What are you talking about, explain yourselves."
"There are many in Russia who fear a war with our great nation," Hindenburg began.
"AS THEY SHOULD," The Kaiser interrupted.
Hindenburg sighed. "Yes your majesty, they should, however they are not opposed to war in general."
"Russia is falling into ruin," Ludendorff went on. "People believe the Tsar has become weak and ineffective, that he is leading them to poverty and destruction. He hopes that by leading a war that brings land, plunder, and glory to his nation he will gain great popularity and strengthen his government."
"It's the oldest trick in the book," Hindenburg commented. "If the common people are mad at you, start a war to distract them, and hope you're victorious and they forget their reasons for anger."
"Yes, yes ,yes," The Kaiser replied. "But what does this have to do with our plans?"
"Your highness I will put it plainly," Hindenburg replied. "The Russians said if we would ignore their expansions in the east outside of our borders, they would ignore ours in the west."
Wilhelm was speechless for a second, then jumped from his chair and exploded. "AVOIDING WAR IS ONE THING, ARE YOU SUGGESTING I ENTER INTO AN ALLIANCE WITH. . . WITH DARWINISTS!?"
The two men, used to the Kaiser's outbursts, preceded calmly, measuring their words. "Of course not your highness," Hindenburg assured him. "We are simply buying time. You yourself said we should avoid a war on two fronts. In making this agreement we will be able to concentrate all our strength and steel on the beasts of France and Britain, which will bring use a quick victory in the west. Once their vermin have been put down, we can turn back to Russia, as I have no doubt they are planning to do to use when they think they are strong enough. Their army is weak, obsolete beasts and undisciplined soldiers, they will stretch it thin trying to grab land in the North and East."
"Once all that has happened," Ludendorff continued. "We will be able to charge strait through their lines to Moscow, ending the war by next spring and making our God fearing people safe from Darwinist aggression."
The Kaiser had been fuming in his chair while they explained this, but now looked thoughtful. "A victory over Darwinism so quickly would be a glorious accomplishment."
"Yes," Hindenburg pressed on, layering his voice with praise. "You will go down in history as the man who saved the world from godless Darwinist expansion."
"We must do what is best to make a peaceful future for our nation," Ludendorff agreed. "We must eliminate the threat of Darwinism soon."
The Kaiser smiled, his previous anger already forgotten as his mind filled with thoughts of glory and victory. "Yes, it is a brilliant strategy. We will go forward with it immediately."
Hindenburg smiled triumphantly. "There is one problem your highness, your ally Franz Joseph will not agree with it."
The Kaiser was visibly dismayed. "You are right of course, the Austrians will never support an agreement with Russia, however brief. We will face enough outrage from our own people.
"Your highness," Hindenburg began carefully. "The Emperor Joseph has been a wise and faithful ally but I am afraid he has grown weak willed in his old age. His country has become divided among it's many conflicts. If we are to succeed, rather success is assured but if we are to do it with the greatest speed, all the Clanker powers of Europe must be united. You have proven the strength and capability of our government by bringing prosperity and security to our nation. Should we not do what we can to spread our success to our friends."
"What are you proposing," The Kaiser stared at the man suspiciously.
"I am suggesting the same thing I did the night Ferdinand was murdered, you must annex Austria-Hungary to bring strength and unity to the Clanker powers."
The Kaiser rubbed the back of his head with his left arm, then realized what he was doing and immediately switched to his right. "This is bordering on dishonorable, to usurp another sovereign like this."
"You will be doing him a favor," Hindenburg insisted. "Franz Joseph is a devoted leader, but he does not realize the limitations of his age, it would be better if he was relieved to a life of comfort. You can bear the responsibility for him, and lead his people to greater glory."
The Kaiser nodded smiling again. "You are right of course my generals, once again I differ to your judgement in this."
Hindenburg smiled. "I am honored your majesty, rest assured we will absorb Austria quickly and bloodlessly, then proceed to secure the rest of the Balkans."
The Kaiser nodded forcefully. "Yes, by God we must not forget to exact justice on Serbia, it was their treacherous murder of Ferdinand that brought use to this unpleasant decision."
The two men opposite of him exchanged a quick glance, their faces expressionless. "Yes," Hindenburg replied evenly. "Their treachery will not go unpunished."
"Rest assured your highness," he went on. "We have finished all plans for this advance, and we are already preparing for others." He had already turned away from the Kaiser, examining a map of Panama.
The city of Vienna was in a sort of forced cheerfulness. The Archdukes assassination had been seen as a tragedy and an outrage, by those would cared. Many were lamenting how it had lead them into what might be a long and bloody war.
But now things looked hopeful. When Russia declared war on Austria, Germany had honored her promise and come to their aid. For days German troops and machines had been moving in to Austria for the much anticipated attack on the Darwinist threat. Two entire infantry divisions, along with walker escorts and an enormous land dreadnaught had arrived in Vienna and a large military parade was being staged. Now hundreds watched the troops parade through Freyung Square.
Many were privately, some not so privately, unnerved by the presence of so many foreign troops in the city, even if they were allies. Even so people thronged the streets cheering and waving flags, sing ing to match patriotic songs being played by military bands. Lack of enthusiasm for the war might be seen as disloyal.
Emperor Franz Joseph sat watching these proceedings from a chair on the lawn of Schonbrunn Palace surrounded by his royal attendees and courtiers, humming pleasantly along to the music, waving now and then to the passing troops and walkers. Next to him sat General Ludendorf, hear as the official commander of the coming joint attack, suppressing a look of boredom. "An impressive display general," Franz Joseph commented. "But why didn't you allow our walkers to participate?"
"As I told you your highness, we have already had trouble with sabotage. As soon as we killed Ferdinand the Darwinist's began infiltrating our ranks. We must inspect the walkers for damage, and in the interest of security we thought it would be better to take them outside the city, to a less populated area."
The Emperor nodded, smiled and continued to wave at the passing ranks. Ludendorf leaned in closer, eyeing the soldiers and attendees around them, talking in a quiet voice. "What news of the boy."
Franz Joseph's mood visibly darkened. "He disappeared, along with several men known to be loyal to his father. A royal guard Cyklop Stormwalker is also missing."
"He must be found," Ludendorf hissed. "We must put all our resources into it."
"Well surely he can be no trouble now."
Ludendorf stared ahead at his soldiers marching by. "You are partly right sir, he is no longer any trouble, to you."
The ground began to shake slightly as the massive German land dreadnaught, the S.M.S Verrat,
approached the outskirts of the city.
"We have a new plan for the course of this war," Ludendorf went on. "It requires distasteful measures, but it will bring us victory."
"We have made an agreement with Russia," He went on. "Not an alliance, but an agreement for temporary peace between our nations."
"The Russian will not be satisfied by that," the Emperor replied. "Their beasts are out for blood. A war with them cannot be avoided!"
"I agree, this arrangement is not to make lasting peace, it will give use time to conquer our other enemies before we turn to them. They will be allowed to expand of course, but in the end it will mean nothing."
The Emperor smashed his fist against the arm of his chair. "I will not sit by while my enemies grow in strength. I will NOT agree to any plan that allows our Darwinist enemies to expand."
Ludendorf raised a hand and an officer standing behind him shouted an order. The passing soldiers halted, turned to face the observers, and raised their guns to the crowd. The walkers along side them leveled their cannons. In the background behind them, the Verrat could be seen, it's heavy cannons turned on the heart of the city.
And all the Emperors walkers were out in the countryside.
"I believe sir," Ludendorf said in a low, hard tone. "That we should reexamine the alliance between our nations."
|.,.,.,.,.|U.S. Declares| .,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,NEW YORK WORLD .,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,|Rain Today; Probably|.,.,.,.,.|
| VOL_LV...NO_17,685 _._._._._NEW_YORK_TUESDAY,_._._._SEPTEMBER_26_1914_TWO_CENTS|
|.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,..,.,.,.,.,.,.,U.S. DECLARES WAR .,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,..,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,|
|.,.,.,.,.,.,TWO Days Ago German Naval Ships and Walkers Launched a Cowardly and.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,|
|.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.Treacherous ATTACK on the U.S. Possession in Panama, the Almost.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,|
|.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,Finished Panama Canal. American and Panama Fighters Clash With.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,|
|.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,Germans in the Jungle While Navy and Army Forces Rush to Their Aid.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,|
|.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,Congress has Answered President Wilson's Call for a Declaration of.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.|
|.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,WAR-Plans For Raising Army Announced-Men Between 19 and 25.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,|
|.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,To Be Called to Colors By Selective Conscription.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,|
|.,.,.,.,.,GOVERNMENTS PLAN.,.,.,|.,.,.,.Year's War Budget Totals.,.,.|.,.,.EVERY RESOURCE OF.,.,.,.,.,.|
|.,.,.,.,.,.,FOR RAISING ARMY.,.,.,.|.,.,.,.,.,$3,500,000,000.,.,.,.,.,.,.,|.,.,.NATION MADE READY.,.,.,.,.,|
|.,A million men within a year.,.,.|.,.,.,.,Secretary of treasury.,.,.,.,.|.,.,.,Secretary of Commerce.,.,.,.,|
|.,.,.,and two million within two.,|.,.,.,William G. Bryan reports.,.,.,.|.,.,.,William C. Redfield annou-.,.,|
|.,.,.,two years by selective cons-|.,.,.that the government plans.,.,|.,.,.,nces plan to enlist comm-.,.,|
|.,.,.,cription-men between 19.,.,|.,.,.to borrow billions of dollars.,.,.|.,.,.,ercial fabrication and mec.,.,|
|.,.,.,and 25 report for first draft |.,.,.through the newly establi-.,.,.|.,.,.,hanics to produce war bea.,.,|
|.,.,.,since theCivil War-regular.,.|.,.,.shed Federal Reserve Bank.,.,.|.,.,.,sts and machines. Former.,.,|
|.,.,.,Army drills for combat. The |.,.,.and Liberty bonds. German.,.,.|.,.,.,war opposer Henry Ford.,.,.,.|
|.,.,.,Navyone combing the.,.,.,.,.|.,.,.businessmen insist loyalty.,.,.,|.,.,.,begins remaking his factor-,.,|
|.,.,.,Atlantic for German U-boats|.,.,.and support for the war.,.,.,.,.|.,.,.,weaponized machines for.,.,.,|
Dr. Barlow gravelly folded the paper on her desk and leaned back in her chair. "Either there isn't a brain left in Berlin, or the Germans think victory is assured. Capturing the canal would give them a clear edge in this war, but it has brought them yet another enemy."
Dr. Mason moved out from behind her chair, where he had been reading the paper over her shoulder. "Surly this is good news, America joining us against Germany and Russia may tip the balance in our favor?"
"They may not get here in time." Barlow replied. "Since the St. Petersburg Treaty-
"Mason scoffed with disgust. "St. Petersburg Treachery more like."
"Since the St. Petersburg treaty," Barlow gave him a look that promised trouble for further interruptions. "And Russia's invasion of the Scandinavian peninsula, parliament made alliances with Norway and Sweden and sent a large portion of our army to help them halt the attack. France has had to face the German onslaught almost alone. The Kaisers army is slowly forcing it's way to Paris. If France falls, then the war may be lost."
"That is only a temporary set back," Mason insisted. "The Clankers may have managed to gain more momentum at the outset, but fabricated science will prevail!"
"At any rate, America joining the war does not mean they will join us, our Government has made a yet another political blunder." Barlow frowned,. "The son of an American industrialist with German heritage was arrested on a trip to Canada several weeks ago, he was accused of being a German spy. His family had some influence in Washington and immediately started an uproar. The boy was released but there is still animosity. Add that to their trading arguments with France."
Mason nodded folding his arms. "I heard their Democratic Party is made up of Irish Americans, who are opposing any treaty with use because we occupy their country."
"And our government is outraged over the fact that they have not declared war on Russia, and suspicious of the fact that half of their weapons use Clanker technology. I do not see an alliance forming in the near future. Which makes my mission all the more crucial, I must get back to it."
"It will be almost a month before the Lorises are finished," Mason pointed out.
"Lorisi," Barlow corrected, standing up. "And still it is not to soon to begin other preparations, I must go now to the Admiralty, to secure an ship."
Alek stood on the tower of his castle, holding a heavy coat around himself, staring out over the glacier below. Nearly three months he had been here, stuck in a padded prison on a frozen mountain. Three months of pacing the ramparts, watching the unchanging snow. Three months without seeing a new face. Three months without even going outside the castle walls. When they had been traveling there had at least been some excitement(even if it had been because people were trying to kill them). Now the closest thing he had to excitement were Volger's daily and grueling fencing lessons.
The only link to the outside world was the walkers wireless. The news was almost unbelievable. Annexation. The official broadcasts were that Franz Joseph had stepped down as ruler of Austria-Hungary, and he decided no one in the royal family ad the capability to lead during the war. Instead he had named Kaiser Wilhelm heir to the throne and so their empire had been annexed by Germany.
That was the official story. Count Volger had other suspicions.
Alek heard the faintest sound of boots coming up the tower steps. "Perhaps if you stare at the landscape long enough it will change." Volger stood beside him handing over a cup of hot tea. "Perhaps the intensity of your gaze will melt the glacier."
"Only if the warmth of your tone does not melt it first," Alek took a long sip of the tea, willing it to warm his stomach. "Is there a point to my staying here, the throne is gone, our Empire is gone. The Germans may not have been able to kill me, but they have made sure I can make no difference in this war."
"That will not stop them from trying to kill you," Volger replied. "And you may still be able to upset their plans."
Alek couldn't see how but didn't have the energy to go on with this argument(again). He turned and began walking toward the steps when Volger put a hand on his shoulder to stop him. "Alek, listen..."
"I do not have patience for this Volger."
"No, listen. Do you hear that?"
Alek glared at the man, but sighed and concentrated. Somewhere out on the frozen wasteland came. . . . . the rumble of engines?
My story has two goals, Alek becomes emperor, and America enters the war. I would be routing for both of them so naturally I would have to put them on the same side. This is the best story line I could come up with were Austria would have reason to turn against Germany, and America would want to enter the war early but not join it's traditional allies. In the real war America never actually made an alliance with the Allied powers but acted as an associate power. I also learned that although the Kaiser was the supreme leader of Germany he didn't have much power during the war, he wasn't a very stable leader, the military just did what it wanted and the country basically became a dictatorship. Third goal, Alek and Deryn will get together by the end, somehow.