Roskilde, Denmark, Scandinavia, 11 July 1971
The Domkirke was packed to overflowing. A State funeral - especially a
Royal one - could count on massive attendance from Heads of Government,
diplomats and other movers and shakers.
Christian Gustav II, newly succeeded but still uncrowned King of
Scandinavia* paid particular attention to the military attaches of Germany
and the USM, who were sitting next to each other and, apparently, chatting
idly during a pause in the funeral ceremony for Christian Gustav's father,
Frederik Gustav, who had died the previous month in an airmobile accident
while flying back from the Eastland** .
Christian Gustav looked across the crowded aisle and caught the eye of a
tall, grey-haired Colonel in the red tunic of the Royal Life Guard. He
raised an eyebrow at him, twitching his gaze back to the Mexican and the
German and received a fractional nod in response. He smiled faintly at the
Deputy Head of the Royal Information Service and leant back in the pew,
satisfied that the conversation between the two would be transcribed and
analysed from the tiny Kramer-produced*** wireless overhearing device.
The Global War**** had taught Scandinavia both the value of neutrality and
the advantage of intelligence. Carl Gustav was clear on the need to
* The personal union of the Kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the
Grand Duchy of Finland, the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg
and the dependencies of Iceland, the Faeroe Islands and Greenland. Formed
after the extinction of the Vasa dynasty in Sweden and the election of the
King of Denmark - Norway as simultaneous King of Sweden. Developments
since have seen a Scandinavian Parliament (the Rigsdag) advising the
Monarch, whose constitutional position is not unlike the Kaiser's in OTL
** The Baltic Grand Duchies which had been under first Danish, then
Scandinavian protection since the breakup of the Russian Empire. A source
of some tension with Germany.
**** The persistent rumours of a close relationship between the Danish
East Asiatic Company (owned largely by the Crown) and Kramer Asssociates
may well have had some foundation in truth. Certainly, Scandinavia
appeared to stay comfortably on the leading edge of technological
**** Scandinavia had remained largely unaffected by the Global War - by
rigorous adherence to neutrality, the country had even prospered, by
virtue of its privileged position as an entrepot for intelligence and
back-door contacts between the belligerents and its willingness to broker
international trades freely to whoever could afford to pay. The
convenience of this arrangement far outweighed any conceivable strategic
advantage to any belligerent in occupation.